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Conflict in "Their Eyes Were Watching God"

IB English 11 Presentation
by

Faith Thomas

on 11 December 2012

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Transcript of Conflict in "Their Eyes Were Watching God"

Conflict in Their Eyes were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston Volunteers? Scenario 1 Who was the
Protagonist? Scenario 2 Who was the
Antagonist? The leading character or a major character in a drama, movie, novel, or other fictional text; the main figure or one of the most prominent figures in a real situation. A person who actively opposes or is hostile to someone or something; an adversary; a substance that interferes with or inhibits the physiological action of another. What is the point of an antagonist? Types of Conflict Person vs. Person
Person vs. Nature
Person vs. Society

Person vs. Self External Internal Conflict in "Their Eyes Were Watching God" Person vs. Person Person vs. Society
Person vs. Nature Janie vs. Nunkie Janie and Tea Cake vs. The Hurricane Janie vs. Eatonville However, in most stories, there is one central conflict that a majority of the events are placed around. This is the Antagonist. We want the grand antagonist to be... White Society Logan Jody Granny Even Who do you think was the ultimate antagonist in "Their Eyes Were Watching God"?

Or was there not one? The ultimate antagonist appears to be the protagonist, Janie. Why is this important? Janie is telling her life story to Phoeby. In each stage of life, there is typically an obstacle to overcome. Which is why Hurston wrote so many conflicts to surround the central conflict of Janie and the choices she makes. Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Main Obstacle: Adhering to Granny's wishes Main Obstacle: Trying to reach goal and overcoming oppression by Logan Main Obstacle: Maintaining her identity even as Jody threatens her aspirations with his need for power Main Obstacle: Sticking to her heart But in the end... The only antagonist who continually restricted her from reaching her goals was herself. In a way, she was her own worst enemy. But how does this affect us? It helps us look at our decisions and how they impact our goals. "Their Eyes Were Watching God" is not just a story of Janie finding love.

It's about the long and winding path she took to achieve that horizon. The lack of a constant external antagonist is what makes this story not only realistic, but relatable.

As high school students, we are not faced with a constant force working against us, but rather smaller obstacles we have to overcome.

Hurston created Janie to be her own antagonist in order to show us readers that sometimes, the biggest factors working against us are ourselves. Bibliography Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel. New York: Perennial Library, 1990. Print.
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