In “Their eyes were watching god” Hurston tells the story of Janie, a black woman who because of her grandmother experiences and beliefs was forced to marry into a loveless marriage with Logan Killicks, a hard-working farmer who had 60 acres of land and could provide for Janie. This marriage ended when Janie ran away with Joe Stark, a man that she fell in love with and thought could give her the love absent between her and Logan. But Janie soon realized that her second marriage wouldn’t turn out better than her first. Joe was just as controlling and degrading as Logan. He hardly expressed his love for Janie and spoke to her like an incompetent child. Janie didn 't start living until Joe died and she met Teacake. With Teacake Janie felt alive, they understood and respected each other. Their marriage was full of love and compassion, two things that Janie always wanted. Her marriage with Teacake ended in a tragedy, but Janie felt like she lived a life full of new beginnings, and she was content with that.
“Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurtson exemplifies the amount of disrespect and domestic abuse a woman can handle. It also demonstrated how some males view women in a distasteful and unsatisfied way. Gender and sexuality can initiate most of the specific tactics of domestic violence that can dehumanize an individual, especially women. Zora Neale Hurtson’s character, Delia Jones, demonstrates how women can transition from being inferior to becoming superior in a domestic relationship. The story opened with Delia washing clothes for white people on Sunday, and Sykes verbally abused her for dishonoring God because she was washing clothes that belong to white people on the Sabbath day. As Sykes Jones stated, “Ah done tole you time and again to keep the white folks’ clothes outa dis house,” (site) exemplifying Delia has grown accustomed to remaining silent in the face of abuse. It is on this day after a particularly bad scare and added abuse by being mocked for that fear that her character shifts. Delia’s remarkable transformation as a character from a meek abuse victim to a stronger, independent yet gentle woman occurs whenever Sykes mocks her for her fear of snakes or when there is a scene involving the rattlesnake.
During the 1920s, there was a period that was called the Harlem Renaissance, during which African Americans got the opportunity to be creative and express themselves through music and art. Langston Hughes and Louis Armstrong were a few of the famous people who came from this period in the 1920s. Another famous person that came out of the Harlem Renaissance was Zora Neale Hurston, a multi-talented African American woman who wrote stories that described the life and struggles of the 1920s through the stories she wrote. Hurston was an American writer, who was able to connect to the hearts of most people from all kinds of different races and religions during the period. Even today, her readers still feel the connection Hurston was trying to make
In Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), Zora Neale Hurston quotes: “She knew now that
Fitting in is what society is all about, it seems that following what others tell you is more valuable than being your true self. In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel “ Their Eyes Were Watching God” shows that living as who you are brings more joy to yourself. With the main character Janie, we know how living in a society of judgement affected her. From living in Eatonville and being married three times, Janie goes from living in unhappiness to fulfilling herself with what brings joy into her life. In this book, Hurston uses symbolism to illustrate that contentment is more meaningful than fitting into society.
In Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie is a young woman who struggles to find her identity. Janie Separates her exterior life from her interior life by keeping certain thoughts and emotions inside her head, and she reconciles this by while presenting the proper woman society expects her to be. Janie also silently protests to those expectations by acting against what people require of her, both emotionally and physically.
Both Joe and Tea Cake’s funerals are representative of how they lived as people. Joe constantly exuded an aura of power and dominance and made people respect him. As a result, he was seen as a god-like figure by many and in a sense was impossible to relate to. The imagery of “[p]eople on farm horses and mules; babies riding astride of brothers ' and sisters ' backs” (88) makes it seem as though they are going on a religious pilgrimage rather than grieving over a loved one. By mentioning how the “expensive black folds” of the coffin “were resurrection and life” Joe may be likened to Jesus in how he was resurrected after three days of being killed (88). However, although many idolized him, Janie did not feel remorse during the funeral. Rather,
During this rough time period, segregation was common and prohibition was recently introduced. Along with this, many other social and political issues played a role in Hurston's "Sweat." Consequently, a historical background of the early twentieth century would be ideal in order for the reader to better comprehend and appreciate the work thoroughly. In this story, Hurston writes about Delia and Syke's work lives. In the early 1900's, approximately sixty percent of African American woman and about twenty percent of men were employed (Mclaughlin).During this time period, men felt that they were vastly superior over women. As a consequence, men did not want to see women working or earning more than them. In the story, although Syke did not work and he lived through Delia's wage, he did not approve of Delia financially supporting the both of them. The racism experienced by African American's was a large factor in the inspiration for most of Hurston's writings. The majority of jobs held by African American women were domestic based jobs for white people. Similar to Syke, this fact upset many husbands (Seidel). Syke displays his hatred towards Delia's career by stomping over the clothes she is washing. He directly demonstrates his discontentedness that he has with the white race and Delia's job: "Ah done tole you time and again to keep them white folks' clothes outa dis house” (Hurston). Without having proper historical
between Joe and Missie May is greatly affected by materialism. Every Saturday afternoon Joe throws nine silver dollars for Missie May to pile beside her plate at dinner; she then runs out to greet him and they play fight with each other. She digs through his pockets for candy kisses and other goods that he has put in them for her to find. They obviously love each other, but I think that in this Hurston is giving a subtle hint of what role materialistic things play in the relationship between them. Slemmons is a wealthy, new man in town that everybody is in awe of; Joe especially, and eventually that leads to hardship in the marriage between him and Missie May. She sleeps with Slemmons because he promises gold, but what ultimately leads her to be unfaithful? Is it that she wants it - thinking only of herself? Or, is she thinking that she
While reading, it becomes evident that Delia is a good person. Not only is she good, but she holds strong to her religion. She is always putting others needs before her own. Delia does not only work to support herself, but works to support her husband and his mistress. “’Mah tub of suds is filled yo’ belly with vittles more times than yo’ hands is filled it’” (Hurston 531). She is telling Sykes that it is because of all her hard work that he has food to eat. She is the one who has to “’Work and sweat, cry and sweat, pray and sweat!’”(Hurston 531), not him. She does not let Sykes get the best of her, she is not vengeful. She says, “Sykes, like everybody else, is gointer reap his sowing’” (Hurston 532). She believes in karma, that whatever Sykes does will come back around to him. She is good and believes that in time good things will come to her. Also it is clearly seen in the story how dynamic Delia’s character is. In the beginning, Delia is scared of Sykes and is too afraid to stand up to him. While trying to do her work Sykes is fussing at her but rather stand up to him, the story states that, “Delia never looked up from her work, and her thin, stooped shoulders sagged further” (Hurston 530). This shows that she is afraid of what he might do should she try to stand up for herself. As the story goes on, Delia begins to change and become braver when it comes to dealing with Sykes. Hurston writes, “Delia’s habitual meekness seemed to slip from her shoulders like a blown scarf” (531). She was no longer afraid of Sykes or what he might do to her. From that point on Delia was a changed women. One night Delia even had the courage to tell Sykes, “’Ah hates you, Sykes’” (Hurston 535). This came as such a surprise to him that he had trouble trying to come up with something harsh to say back to her. Delia was a changing women and Sykes could not handle it. As for Delia’s marriage, it was
Zora Neale Hurston is a prolific writer famed for numerous award winning plays, novels and short stories. In this paper, I will be elaborating on a character from the novel Sweat. Her novel Sweat was first published in 1926. Sweat is a novel that tells a story about the good, evil, and domestic abusive husband. This essay will critically evaluate the fictional character named Sykes. It will analyze Sykes Jones individual qualities with a focus on at least more than three traits. The traits I will speak on is, abuse, laziness, and disrespect.
All people grow and develop at different rates, with factors such as heredity and environment strongly influencing one's development. The age-old debate of nature-vs-nurture is at the forefront, as always. The people one meets, and the experiences one goes through play vital roles in forming that person. In the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie Crawford grows as a woman with the men she was married to. Through the tides of life and relationships she realizes how a person is truly supposed to live their life. Janie's three marriages play crucial roles as elements in her development as a person and as a woman. Countless allusions and symbols crafted by Zora Neale Hurston flow fluidly throughout the novel and allow for the reader to understand Janie Crawford’s journey and extensive development. These recurrent patterns serve to better illustrate abstract concepts in the novel. Hurston's powerful use of symbols and allusions work to describe Janie’s relationships along with clarifying and intensifying the telling of Janie's story and growth.
In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Hurston, Janie’s story reflects the beliefs of the Harlem Renaissance by showing the theme of pride, and disappointment. In the Harlem Renaissance one of the main themes of the African American’s art was pride, and to fight on gaining progress even though thee African Americans were an oppressed race in America. After Janie's kiss grandma had this to say, “Yeah, Janie, youse got yo’ womanhood on yuh.” This is an example of how grandma wants Janie to grow up and become a respectable black woman with pride. Also, this novel shows the theme of disappointment. “Where he left her?” This quote from one of the porch dwellers explains how Janie had just come out of a relationship with Teacake, and
Bond, Cynthia. “Language, Speech, and Difference in Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Bloom’s Modern Critical Interpretations: Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God- New Edition. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2008. 41-55. Print. Bond analyzes the language spoken throughout Their Eyes Were Watching God as appropriate and crucial to understanding Afro- American literature. Hurston’s language emphasizes the cultural tradition within the South. Not only does Hurston demonstrate black oral tradition, but she also utilizes southern dialect to critique a male dominated society. Hurston uses literary references, such as the pear tree to scrutinize her awakening self-love. These illustrations that occur on notable occasions