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Their Eyes Were Watching God By

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Dilanga Algama

on 22 January 2014

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Transcript of Their Eyes Were Watching God By

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Background Information of the Author
Zora Neale Hurston was born in Eatonville, Florida in 1891.
She lived in an all African-American community.
She wrote several novels and short stories.
Her life’s motto was “Jump at the sun!” given to her by her mother.
Her writing helped shape future female African-American writers’ approach to authorship and development of identity.
She was a writer, anthropologist and political activist.


Language
Their Eyes Were Watching God
is written in an African American Dialect Writing.
Demonstrates the African American Tradition.
Cynthia Bond believes that Hurston’s dialect writing is a lot more than words, she says that it recognizes the cultural significance of the black tradition.
This teaches grade eleven students new types of literature in different points of views and traditions of different stereotypes.

Speech
The speech of some characters in
Their Eyes Were Watching God
also demonstrates some facts about the African- American tradition and lifelong problems ordinary people go through.
Cynthia Bond said that one of the speeches said by Janie’s grandmother signifies a part of her life that she experienced which she wants Janie to know because it changed Janie's nannies life forever. She also wants Janie to know about this situation, so that Janie will not get depressed if something like her grandmother situation comes her way.
Janie’s grandmother wanted Janie to stand on higher ground so that no one can take advantage of her.
This teaches grade eleven students earlier on in their life that life is full of surprises and challenges but at the end of the day they have to overcome them no matter what the circumstance is.

Summary of the Novel:
Hurston conveys and demonstrates a lot of messages, one very important example is Janie finding her voice.
At the start of the novel Janie is very quiet because two out of three of her husband’s takes control over her life so she has no say about what she did during the day and her voice is limited but at the end of the novel she finds her voice and speaking out.
Charles Chesnutt argues that in reality every human being has a voice but that the people around a specific person can limit a persons voice as they take control over other peoples voice forcefully.
This teaches grade eleven university bond students that other people can limit their voice but that they shouldn't keep quiet if they feel that they are bullied or uncomfortable and that they should speak out and try to defend them self without letting other people destroy their life.
Message (1)
Message (2)
Authors who excel in literature perceive Hurston’s writing and try’s to draw a picture of Hurston’s understanding of storytelling and her method of conveying a message through the voices of different characters.
Maria Tai Wolff (scholar in literature) says that either words or visuals are not effective on it's own and that it's best when they work together. Wolff says that Hurston in
Their Eyes
uses the voices of different characters to construct the African- American identity. She uses different voices to honor the existence of the black skin colored people’s tradition.
This is a good acknowledgement for grade eleven students today because in today’s society the majority of the grade eleven students see verbal speech as a message or just a sentence of words, they don’t see how it creates a picture in their mind.
Hurston style of writing makes it easy for the reader to see a three dimensional image which makes the reader feel like he or she placed a part in the novel.

In today’s society there are specific characteristics that justify the difference between the two genders.
Racheal Blau Du Plessis argues that Hurston when writing Jonah’s Gourd Vine had no problem making a male a hero but when it came to making a female the hero in
Their Eyes
, she starts to question herself because she feels like it is wrong according to the time she lived in, that 's one of the reasons why even though Janie finds her voice at the end of the novel she is never classified as a hero and never complimented for her accomplishment.
This show Grade eleven how the society has classified particular characteristic to the two genders and that anything that goes against it is not acceptable and would not be realistic to people in today’s society.

Characteristics given to the two genders.
As
Their Eyes
is one of the first novels written by a black woman the novel is classified as a feminist novel.
“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never landing until the watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dream mocked to death by time. That is the life of men” (Hurston 1).
She believes that men’s wishes and dreams are unattainable and that the men often are frustrated when they do not come true. Women on the other hand wish for what they desire.
This example shows grade eleven students how the only thing the people in the past had was their dreams and wishes because they did not know what to expect for their future.

Hurston's Interpretation Of The Two Genders.
Conclusion
Hurston’s
Their Eyes Were Watching God
is a novel that has many features which has not been experienced by many grade eleven students, that is why it is a once in a lifetime experience.
The Language and messages go hand in hand, which is the most important point that makes this a perfect novel to be read by a grade eleven English class.
Zora Neale Hurston
Cynthia Bond (Clinical proffessor)
Charles Chesnutt (Author)
Richeal Blau Du Plessis ( Scholar in contemporary Poetry)
Set in central and southern Florida in the early 20th century.
Told in the captivating voice of a woman who refuses to live in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or foolish romantic dreams.
Their Eyes Were Watching God
follows the life of Janie Crawford, a girl of mixed black and white heritage around the turn of the century. As a teenager, Janie sees a bee pollinating a flower in her backyard pear tree and becomes obsessed with finding true love.
Janie Crawford try's to find out who she really is (identity).
Janie Crawford the protagonist evolves selfhood through three marriages and her life marked by poverty, trials and life's unpredictability.
At the end of the novel she learns that she is worth something and she learns that she has a voice and that she can use it.
Hurston's interpretation of the two genders shows the reader how she understood the difference between male and females and most of the points she made about the two genders are still relevant in today's society and demonstrates how wrong it is but that due to today’s society we live with it every day
Full transcript