What Is Hurston's Message In Their Eyes Were Watching God

957 Words4 Pages
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston wrote in a way that conveyed a message through her characters, using a storytelling "frame" to express her ideas. Hurston did not stop by means to get her point across. Hurston uses Janie’s thoughts and actions to represents how during Reconstruction, African Americans were trying to find their identities and achieve their dreams of independence.
At the start of the novel Hurston begins to illustrate how African Americans in Eatonville feel about their lives. During this time period, Whites did not see African Americans intellectually equal. Hurston demonstrates this by stating how blacks lack confidence, until night time when their master is gone, they be themselves. In the book it states, “The sun
…show more content…
She has been a stranger to herself for six years, not knowing about her racial identity. She had never thought of herself as black because she has lived with white people all her life. It takes is one photograph with her friends for her to find out her skin color. In the book it states, “Ah was wid dem white chillun so much till Ah didn’t know Ah wuzn’t white till Ah was round six years old. Wouldn’t have found it out then, but a man come long takin’ pictures and without askin’ anybody, Shelby, dat was de oldest boy, he told him to take us. Round a week later de man brought de picture for Mis’ Washburn to see and pay him which she did, then give us all a good lickin’. So when we looked at depicture and everybody got pointed out there wasn’t nobody left except a real dark little girl with long hair standing by Eleanor. Dat’s where Ah wuz s’posed to be, but Ah couldn’t recognize dat dark child as me. So Ah ast, ‘where is me? Ah don’t see me. Everybody laughed, even Mr. Washburn. Miss Nellie, de Mama of de chillun who come back home after her husband dead, she pointed to de dark one and said, ‘Dat’s you, Alphabet, don’t you know yo’ ownself?’ Dey all useter call me Alphabet ‘cause so many people had done named me different names. Ah looked at de picture a long time and seen it was mah dress and mah hair so Ah said: ’Aw, aw! Ah’m colored!’ (Hurston 8-9).” This really starts the search for identity within her. It fuels the fire to her wanting to know who she is, where she came from, and where she is going to go. Hurston is using this message to convey the theme of Identity. She uses Janie as the main representation of that theme. Lincoln’s main purpose was freedom, and the blacks began to search for identity. On 1 January 1863, “Lincoln proclaimed that the freedom of all slaves in rebellious regions was now a Union war aim- ‘an act of justice’ as well as ‘military necessity’
Open Document