Posted at 11.27.2018
Afro-American Literature is a canon of literature which is mainly the works of writers from the African descent. It traces its history back the 18th century, and the majority of the fiction works are extremely powerful texts carrying much of the American history in them. It is because most of the work began during the era of Harlem renaissance, racism, and the formation of the Negroes movement. The writers were therefore presenting their protest literature to the public, with the goal of changing the society. "Their Eyes were Watching God" is one of the texts which were written throughout that time, and Hurston succeeds in presenting the "black protest" literature. The essay offers an analysis of the written text in mention of other BLACK literary works.
"Their Eyes Were Watching God" can be an inspiring and motivating little bit of literature. This is as a result of Hurston's powerful use of symbolism in the whole text, in developing her plot. The symbolism hence gives a rich story on the protagonist "Janie. " Hurston presents a novel which fits to be read by any individual due to creativity. It really is a touching story which revolves around the life of a woman, and the tough journey she undergoes through her life time. It is a book which speaks to women as well as those who at one point of life experience hardships and strife, with one motif that; there's always light shining at the end of the tunnel.
Janie was a granddaughter and a daughter of women who had been raped, something explains how the black women had to undergo some tough moments. Additionally, she undergoes very a down economy in life but she struggles and gets the strength to sail through life successfully. The author is considered as a writer of DARK-COLORED Classics, and she succeeds in presenting life's urgent experience in a matter of weeks. Hurston presents the cruel environment and happenings which the blacks needed to live with as a "norm" just because they had nothing to do about it. Her main inspiration to create the text was a way of empowering women, and telling them indirectly that "where there is a will there is a way. " It is a voice to the ladies, as well as the blacks, calling them for an instantaneous action. It is because Hurston had experienced much racism and slavery, and she knew that the black women lacked the urgency in acting, and therefore thought we would voice the concerns through some protest literature (Gates & McKay 1173).
A lot of rich symbolism is employed in the novel to convey the message. Hurston narrates and gives a definite picture of a young teenage girl (Janie) and how she sails through life to learning to be a successful woman in a society where women haven't any say; "Yes she would love Logan once they were married. She could see no chance for this to come about, but Nanny and the old folds had said it, so that it must be so" through symbolism (Hurston 21). There are a number of symbols in the text, but the most significant an example may be "Janie's journey" which runs through the whole book and wraps up the complete story. She moves from Eatonville to Florida, and again back to Eatonville all along in search for a few "spiritual satisfaction. " The journey is self-centered, and each location gives her another type of facet of life. The locations teach her new things and give her hope for struggle and the way to overcome. This fills her with determination to achieve what she wants in future (Gates & McKay 1173).
The text succeeds in presenting the issues of racism which was the major theme of concern for almost all of the black writers of the time. Other writers like Gwendolyn brooks and Richard Wright tackled the same theme, which later paved way for others like Alice walker and her novel "The color Purple. " The novel explains well on exactly what it methods to be an African American within an American society, and the role which was played by the African Americans. It deeply portrays the way the African Americans and the blacks quest for freedom and their rights, for such a long period. The author chooses to make use of motifs to tackle the problems at hand in the society (Curren 3-9).
Hurston uses several motifs to advance her story. Motifs are recurring literary devices which are generally used in advancing a narrative/ story. Hurston uses the city, relationships and God as the motifs in the storyplot, which help in portraying her themes. Through relationships, the writer for instance is able to explain the notion that enlightenment calls for combined efforts. She tries to tell the audience that women and men need one another for survival without oppression whatsoever. Janie's independence is a moral that independence can lead to success depending how it is managed because even though Janie is alone at the end, she actually is contented and succeeds, after speaking with Tea Cake. The community is another motif which assists with passing the message. Janie interacts with it frequently, and yearns for the social life. Following the hurricane, the characters sit in shanties, meaning they may have something in common. They share the disappointment that the hurricane was so overwhelming. Hurston says that the community takes a strong should Janie, who stands strong even though there is a lot of gossip around her (Wall 84).
Race can be used as a motif which Hurston uses in advancing the theme of racism. Racism in the written text serves as a constructor of the society. From chapters "19 and 16", readers are designed to recognize that racism is something which people can eradicate, and that it's a force which is not permanent. Yet it drives Janie to achieve her desires in life as a black woman. Janie says, "Ah was born back due in slavery so that it wasn't for me to satisfy my dreams of whut a woman oughta be and do. Dat's one of de hold-backs of slavery. But nothing can't stop you from wishin" (Hurston 21). Religion as a motif is employed as the stepping block to success. Janie and her fellow blacks have nothing to do other than remain "Watching God" (Curren 3-9).
Hurston therefore tries to depict the lives of the American and African American women, and the way the 20th century brought new changes. She creates a masterpiece of her own character and explains how she searches for her identity during the novel. She shows how women would be derailed by "their owners" and mistreated when you are raped hence their reason to find their identity. Janie becomes the only real light for the other characters, and chooses to at once until she provides the freedom and leads a life of her wish, for having chosen to hear the wind and trees. Which means that she had not been ready for just about any disruptions from the other characters (Wall 84).
In conclusion, Hurston presents a great novel which is very attractive and enlightening. It broadens the reader's humanity and arouses their imagination. The insights do comfort and console the reader for some extend, and that is why some critics would call the written text "THE TOP Read. " Although some critics call it a feminist book, it is a very compelling story rich in symbolism and imagery, and which ought to be credited with the. The writer succeeds in presenting the history of the BLACK women and their fate in the American society. With the protagonist "Janie, " it is clear that "Their Eyes Were Watching God" all the characters' hopes were on their God, who would be their savior and comforter in their lives. At the end God actually offers them (Gates & McKay 1173
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Religious Experience and Gothic Horror. DARK-COLORED Review, Vol. 29, 1995.
Gates, Henry Louis & Nellie Y. McKay. The Norton anthology of African American
literature. Edition 2. W. W. Norton & Co. , 2004.
Hurston, Zora N. & Jerry Pinkney. Their Eyes Were Watching God. University of
Illinois Press, 1991.
Wall, Cheryl A. Zora Neale Hurston's Their eyes were watching God: a casebook.
Oxford University Press US, 2000.