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
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Throughout the text, Hurston infers that she's optimistic about being colored. “How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company”(67)? Hurston writes that she feels discriminated against but also feels how could anyone not want to be in her presence therefor She feels optimistic about the future. Hurston recalls that “Slavery is sixty years in the past” (65).
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
She specifically talks about how relationships between black men and women were during these times. This quote helps to highlight that during these times black men were expected to carry the burden of slavery anditss aftermath, but women were expected to support them and take care of their needs. Also, it speaks to the theme of gender roles and the ways in which gender and race intersect to shape the lives of Black people in America in the 20th century. This is the reasoning that leads to why Nanny wanted Janie to marry Logan all in hopes of creating a stable future for
Janie’s perspective being an African American woman provides ample examples as to how Their Eyes Were Watching God is both a reflection of, and a departure from, the Harlem Renaissance. For example, “Thank yuh fuh yo’ compliments, but mah wife don’t know nothin’ ‘bout no speech-makin’, Ah never married her for nothin’ lak dat. She’s uh woman and her place is in de home” (Hurston 43). The oppression shown towards Janie is a direct departure from the Harlem Renaissance.
“Their Eyes Were Watching God” is a novel written by Zora Neale Hurston. The novel portrays Janie, a middle aged black woman who tells her friend Pheoby Watson what has happened to her husband Tea Cake and her adventure. The resulting telling of her story portrays most of the novel. Throughout the novel, Zora Neale Hurston presents the theme of love, or being in a relationship versus freedom and independence, that being in a relationship may hinder one’s freedom and independence. Janie loves to be outgoing and to be able to do what she wants, but throughout the book the relationships that she is in with Logan,Jody and Tea Cake, does not allow her to do that.
The black culture is very diverse in different parts of the world-even in different parts of the state. Janie as moved throughout Florida to places such as West Florida, Eatonville, and the Everglades. Residing in these different places helps develop and define the character of Janie. Throughout Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie experiences many variations of black culture that helps build her character as she travels through Florida.
In Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, the long-lasting effects of slavery have taken a toll on Janie Crawford. Janie’s grandmother was raped by her master and had a child named Leafy. Leafy, although not born into slavery, endured a similar fate, which led her to run away, leaving her mother to raise her child, Janie. Janie’s appearance, showing strong European features, was both praised and shamed by society. This double standard was created by racism and was able to remain present due to segregation.
Zora Hurston uses vivid imagery, natural diction, and several literary tools in her essay “How It Feels to Be Colored Me”. Hurston’s use of imagery, diction, and literary tools in “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” contributes to, and also compliments, the essay’s theme which is her view on life as a “colored” person. Throughout “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” Hurston carefully incorporates aspects of her African American culture in an effort to recapture her ancestral past. Hurston’s use of imagery, diction, and use of literary tools shape her essay into a piece of Harlem Renaissance work. Imagery in “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” is quite abundant.
Zora Neale Hurston’s writing in Their Eyes Were Watching God, reflects the Harlem Renaissance through Janie 's individuality, and departs from the Harlem Renaissance with the common recurrence of black woman empowerment. In the novel, Hurston reflects the ideas of the Harlem renaissance with the ways in which Janie rebels and goes against norms for women.
Evan Wheeler Ms. Gommermann Honors English 10 3 March 2023 Role of Women in Different Works In both her short story, “Sweat,” and book, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston brings forth the convention that black women are abused by their husbands; however, she highlights the different ways that the women in each story stand up for themselves. In the short story, “Sweat,” Delia defends herself from the beginning. Conversely, in Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie hesitates to assert herself until midway through the book. The outcomes of these women standing up for themselves are very similar, but the timing in which they do so are very different.
Throughout the course of the book, Janie experiences oppression as a woman, revealing the hidden gender roles in American society that help form the American
Being a woman of color in the 1920’s was no easy task. Gender and racial inequalities have made progress throughout history, however during the time of this novel, and even in our modern day world they are still present and causing conflict. This is an issue that should be focused on and taken more seriously. In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie does a fantastic job overcoming several of these inequalities in order to pursue her own happiness, overall depicting her as an extremely powerful role model for young
Hurston tells the story of Janie, a black woman who because of her grandmother experiences and beliefs was forced to marry into a loveless marriage with Logan Killicks, a hard-working farmer who had 60 acres of land and could provide for Janie. This marriage ended when Janie ran away with Joe Stark, a man that she fell in love with and thought could give her the love absent between her and Logan. But Janie soon realized that her second marriage wouldn’t turn out better than her first. Joe was just as controlling and degrading as Logan. He hardly expressed his love for Janie and spoke to her like an incompetent child.
During this rough time period, segregation was common and prohibition was recently introduced. Along with this, many other social and political issues played a role in Hurston's "Sweat." Consequently, a historical background of the early twentieth century would be ideal in order for the reader to better comprehend and appreciate the work thoroughly. In this story, Hurston writes about Delia and Syke's work lives. In the early 1900's, approximately sixty percent of African American woman and about twenty percent of men were employed (Mclaughlin).During this time period, men felt that they were vastly superior over women.
Zora Neale Hurston’s book, “The Gilded Six-Bits” is an important piece of literature due to its impact on the world during the Harlem Renaissance era. It is considered a brilliant piece of modernist literature due to Hurston staying true to her background and roots as a black woman from the south, in which segregation was still a huge issue. The reason why it is considered a piece of modernist literature is because she wasn’t afraid to write in the black vernacular which was considered uneducated as blacks were progressing in arts, literature, and the music was alive. The story is filled with many different themes and issues that people can relate to such as money, deceit, and for people who have a big heart forgiveness and reconciliation.