An Analysis Of Seraph On The Suwanne By Zora Neale Hurston

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Zora Neale Hurston’s Seraph on the Suwanne (1984) opens with a panoramic view of the town Sawley; using a plethora of literary devices such as diction and imagery, Hurston characterizes its impoverished inhabitants in resemblance to the rural landscape. The excerpt opens with a general panoramic view of the Sawley land. Hurston introduces and familiarizes Sawley, the town located in Florida by mentioning the American song “Old Folks at Home”. Akin to the song, the excerpt’s descriptive language expresses the town as if a shared memory of an oral tradition, almost in a cinematic fashiom. Moreover, Hurston carefully describes the contrast between two opposing environments in the narrative: primitive nature and domesticared nature. She describes the South’s terrains as being free, with “waters running swift and deep through the primitive forest.” Furthermore, the South are characterized with a primitive eeriness, with the Blakean allusion of “reddened” rivers, while the North is characterized as “cultivated fields” and “small patches of cotton”. Hurston then begins to characterized the people from Sawley in resemblance to …show more content…

Hurston also goes on to casually mention the lack of education, poverty, and prevalence of disease, using a polysyndeton (“and”) to convey the prosaic nature of their suffering. Moreover, she metaphorically compares the lives within Sawley with a “stilled” stream, conveying their loss of liveliness in a stark contrast to the swiftly “running” waters of the South. As a whole, the text reflects the depressing atmosphere in that the people who have not lost the treasured American spirit of pioneerism inside American folklore, but fail to live an efficient life; there's an irony that Hurston makes clear, that the townspeople are living in horrid conditions, while slaving away in the construction of

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