How Does Zora Neale Hurston Use Literary Techniques In Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Maria Leonard AP English Literature & Composition Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay March 13, 2023 A Journey Through Janie’s Eyes The novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, is a self-realization psychological-fiction book about a young woman named Janie Crawford and her lessons through life and love. Throughout the novel, Zora Neale Hurston employs various literary devices to guide the reader through Janie's journey of self-discovery. Hurston uses literary devices such as dramatic irony, symbolism, imagery, and syntax to depict the downfall of Janie's inner damage, marriage to Joe Starks, and discovery of different types of romantic relationships. Throughout the first chapters of Their Eyes Were Watching God, readers gain …show more content…

The clear imagery provides readers with a concrete idea regarding the passage of time, as well as the effects of Janie’s trials and tribulations on her physical appearance. Additionally, this simple moment provides yet another moment of self-discovery for Janie, as a way of her truly recognizing her transformation. Following these two moments, Janie is able to move on, to the best of her ability, and continue to discover what loves mean for her, for instance, with her relationship with Tea …show more content…

Throughout the entirety of the novel, Hurston applies syntax—notably separate from her unique diction—in order to convey the tone of various situations. For instance, through chapters seven through nine, Zora Neale Hurston places a focus on Joe Stark's health deterioration and his conspiracy-centered mental state, which led him to believe that Janie was trying to poison him to death. Inevitably, Joe's paranoia caused him to mistreat his wife, Janie. The climax of their relationship troubles is highlighted via the stark syntax of the sentence, “[s]o he struck Janie with all his might and drove her from the store” (Hurston 80). This incident marked the “point of no return” in their relationship where mutual respect was lost as Joe shamelessly hit Janie in public, causing their ultimate downfall that spiraled until Joe’s eventual passing. The impact of this scene is further emphasized by the extremely blunt syntax Hurston applies. There is no room for readers to “read between the lines”, as the simplicity of Hurston’s words cut like a knife. This syntax also aids in emphasizing a turning point along Janie’s journey of self-discovery; it almost acts as a catalyst to close this chapter of Janie's story and start anew. This scene in the novel can be contrasted with Janie's relationship with Tea Cake in chapters ten through twelve. Tea Cake indulged Janie in crazy

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