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Thursday, February 11, 2016


"Actually I think all the time that I write, I am writing about love or its absence... which is how people relate to one another and miss or hang on to it ... or are tenacious about love."

~Zora Neale Hurston (Bakerman 60)

In “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” Zora Neale Hurston explores the effects of race and gender on developing one’s identity.

There is often a discrepancy between personal identity and the identity formed exogenously by members of society, which makes it difficult to develop a true understanding of oneself. In Hurston’s novel, Janie is able to move past the opinions others have of her and become the woman she wants to be, but not before she is subjected to the limitations placed on her as a result of being a black woman. Hurston’s symbolic use of the mule, a pear tree in blossom, and Janie’s hair illustrate the development of Janie’s womanhood and independence, as well as her ultimate triumph over her domineering husbands and the constrained society in which she lives.

Normally, when one thinks of race and discrimination, the focus is on one race putting another [race] down. However, in some cases, members of the same race can be just as discriminatory and unsupportive of one another. Hurston explores this idea of inner-race discrimination in her fictional depiction of Eatonville, Florida.

Eatonville serves as a way for black people to escape from the racism present in the rest of the United States (Patterson 34). However, this enclave of racial separateness is not lacking in discrimination.

In "Their Eyes Were Watching God" Hurston explores the re-creation of white racism by blacks against other blacks, and black women specifically sexism, and patriarchy. If you didn't notice that when you were reading, then "feminism" is just common sense to you. Congratulations. Give it another readRead More:

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