Theme Of Racism In Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Racism can be defined as prejudice, discrimination, or contributions to a system that perpetuates the idea that one race is inferior to another. Racism was heavily enforced throughout American history, specifically in the early 1900’s. Coincidentally, this was the same time feminists, or women’s-rights activists, were in the in the midst of their fight for equality. Feminism is the theory that women should be treated equally to men in terms of social, political, and economic matters. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston uses the protagonist, Janie, to convey both concepts through her journey to self-love and acceptance. Due to Janie’s realization of the racial caste system and the structural misogyny in society, the focuses of…show more content…
Janie’s grandma made efforts to warn Janie of the systematic hardship she’ll endure as woman of color. (p.14) Nanny essentially told her that in terms of societal value, black women were the most taken for granted, for they’re the “mules uh de world” as far as she knew. Nanny was constantly urging Janie to find a man because of this. She believed that a man could better her granddaughter, whether there was requited love or not, by providing security and financial stability. Janie tried to refute this idea that only a man could complete her life. Although she yearned for a reciprocated love, she didn’t need it, for she was more longing of an overall well-being. Her independency and empowerment conveys the feminism focus because she never necessarily believed that any man could waltz into her life and drastically improve. She saw them as equals. She believed that women could think and care for themselves sometimes. For instance, Joe told her, “...Someone got to think for women and chillun and chickens and cows. I god, they sho don’t think none themselves.” Janie was quick to dismiss his ignorant slanders in efforts to disprove them. In the following paragraphs, Hurston narrates her reflection on what transpired. She knew he ultimately wanted her to yield in submission to his every command, but she…show more content…
Racism and feminism were two specific examples of said controversial ideas, which Zora Neale Hurston exemplified with Janie through the disparities between two races and institutionalized sexism. Hurston’s technique in showing these two theories displays how the novel focuses on how they coincide with one another in a society where some members may choose to be racist over being a
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