Racism In Their Eyes Were Watching God

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The scholars I have used so far to talk about Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Dilbeck and Ashmawi, bring up good points about Janie’s characterization as well as about her husbands’ characterizations (particularly Tea Cake’s). They particularly focus on the role of gender in the novel, but they do not really bring up how race is depicted in Hurston’s book. Julie Roemer does, however, in her article titled “Celebrating the Black Female Self: Zora Neale Hurston 's American Classic”. She explains that race is something that characters in the Hurston’s novel consider when have opinions on something. I have brought up earlier in this paper that Tea Cake beats Janie at one point. Tea Cake does this because he is mad with jealousy that Janie…show more content…
It should be clear from this paper that I disagree with this idea, and starting with Native Son, it is true that Wright is critiquing racism throughout his book. He shows readers that there are not just blatantly racist people, but also liberal-minded people that think that they are helping Blacks that are still racist in their denial to move past social customs like segregation. Anti-racist groups like the Communists also have problems interacting, as they believe in stereotypes, they do not not know much about Blacks, and they also are even a bit forceful in trying to recruit Blacks to join their cause because they feel that every Black person wants to fight racism. Native Son also gives an in-depth characterization of Bigger Thomas, the protagonist, as well as Bigger’s lawyer Mr. Max, his former enemy Jan Erlone, his girlfriend Bessie, and Bigger’s enemy in court Mr. Buckley. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie’s transformation as a woman of color is explored throughout the novel. Janie’s husbands are shown for what they are along with other characters such as Janie’s grandmother and Mrs. Turner. Still, race is a big topic in Hurston’s novel in several scenes, including when Janie recognizes she is different than her white peers as a child, when Nanny implies that she was raped by her White male slave master, when Janie is let off the hook for killing her last husband in self-defense, when several characters admit that they prefer lighter skinned Black women, and finally, with Jody being the first Black mayor of a Black town. Wright and Hurston both do a great job of keeping readers entertained and informed about the way people act, and how structural problems like racism and sexism are at
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