Commentary On The Mule By Zora Neale

524 Words3 Pages
Janie loved the conversation and sometimes she thought up good stories on the mule, but Joe had 60 forbidden her to indulge. He didn’t want her talking after such trashy people. Janie wants to be part of it but Joe forbids it. He does not understand this type of conversation and thinks they are trashy people. Sam, Lige and Walter take the lead in creating “pictures” the male members pass around, which an envious Janies rightly divines as “crayon enlargements of life”. “Dat mule uh yourn, Matt. You better go see ’bout him. He’s bad off.” “Where ’bouts? Did he wade in de lake and uh alligator ketch him?” “Worser’n dat. De womenfolks got yo’ mule. When Ahcome round de lake ’bout noontime mah wife and some others had ’im flat on de ground usin’ his sides fuh uh wash…show more content…
Sam never cracks a smile. “Yeah, Matt, dat mule so skinny till de women is usin’ his rib bones fuh uh rub-board, and hangin’ things out on his hock-bones tuh dry.” The poverty represented in this story is contrasted and replaced by the humor. Indeed, the images such has the sides of the mule serving as a wash-board. As Maria Tai Wolff says “for telling to be successful, it must become a presentation of sights with words. The best talkers are “big picture talkers”. For Hurston, the construction of African American identity requires a voice that can make you see, a voice that celebrates the visible presence of black bodies. Janie tells “ talkin’ don’t amount tug uh hill uh beans when yuh can’t do nothin’else”. In contrast to Joe start, who seeks to be a big voice only to have his wish become true when Janie informs him that he “big-bellies round here and put out à lot of brag, but ‘tain’t nothin’ to it but yo’ big voice”. Janie seeks for a voice which can picture, which can make you see. The ability to find this voice is important in a world where , as Nanny says “We don’t know nothin’ but what we see. The heavy use of imagery shows that Hurston knows a
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