Their Eyes Were Watching God Rhetorical Analysis

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In Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, there are many meal scenes that could correlate to Foster’s idea of communion whilst dining. This novel is loaded with metaphorical meal scenes, all of which contribute significantly to the story. There are a few important meal scenes though that develop and contribute to the plot more than others. The first of these occurs when Jody decides to open the store and give away free food. The second is when the people of the glades go to Janie’s house for mirth and company. Both of these meals are symbolic as they show how men treat their wives, and both meals are acts of communion, good and bad.
Toward the middle of the book, Jody elopes with Janie and ushers her to the town he plans to establish.
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Right after a hurricane warning was issued at the Glades, all the townsfolk gather at Tea Cake’s house and prepare for a feast. Janie cooks the meal, just like she did in Eatonville, but in this case, Tea Cake stays with her and encourages her by praising her young looks. Though Janie cooks and stays in the house, she is not rangebound like she is in Eatonville. Home cooked fresh beans along with other drinks and nibbles are served and everyone has a ebullient and mirthful evening. This meal is truly exemplary of communion because everyone, including Janie takes part in the evening, is comfortable with each other, and has a good time together. Everybody did the “ring shout round and round de throne. Then everybody but God and Old Peter Flew off on a flying race to Jericho.”(157). It is evidently seen that everyone, including Janie was incorporated into and participated in all the negro festivities of the south including the ring shout, a traditional dance for men. By making Janie participate in all the activities including the ringshout, a man’s dance, Tea Cake keeps his word by treating Janie as an

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