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Their Eyes Were Watching God
Transcript of Their Eyes Were Watching God
Allusions to other works
"Isaac and Rebecca at de well" (pg. 42)
Genesis 24:13-15, Isaac waits at the well for a sign of the woman he is to marry. Rebecca comes out and gives him water to drink.
"And when Ah touch de match tuh dat lamp-wick let de light penetrate inside of yuh, and let it shine, let it shine, let it shine." (pg. 45)
Mathew 5:30; "And if thy right hand offend the, cut it off, and cast it from the." Joe is quick to judge and deliver harsh punishment for even the slightest mistake.
"The thing Saul's daughter had done to David" (pg. 79)
Samuel 18-19. Saul promises his daughter Michal to David in exchange for David's defeating the Philistines, In reality, Saul expected David to be killed but he instead killed two hundred Philistines and Saul gave Michal to him as his wife. Instead of following her father's orders to arrange for David's death, Michal helped David escape after originally being willing to help her father and then falling in love with David.
"They sat in judgment" (pg. 1)
Judgement Day, criticizing men who "pass nations through their mouths" because they are taking on a God-like role
"foot washing" (pg. 4)
common practice upon returning home from a trip, Genesis 28:4; "And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, i pray you, into your servant's house, an tarry all night, and wash your feet, ye shall rise up early and go on your ways."
The "pear tree" scene (pgs. 10-11)
Genesis 2-4, story of the Garden of Eden. Janie is a "prelapsarian figure," full of innocence like Adam and Eve before they disobeyed God and tasted of the Tree of Knowledge.
"A highway through de wilderness" (pg. 16)
Matthew 4:1; "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil," wilderness is an evil symbol, place of temptation and hardship.
The Flood (ch. 18)
Genesis 6-9, story of the Flood of the earth.
"The wheel kept turning round and round" (pg. 166)
Wheels in the Book of Ezekiel, a prophet who preached destruction unless people repented.
"His pale white horse had galloped over waters, and thundered over land" (pg. 168)
Book of Revelations 6:2: "And I saw and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given until him; and he went forth conquering, and to conquer." The white horse is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a sign of the end of the world. The first horseman is either Christ or the Anti-Christ, depending on interpretation, and decides judgments on the wicked of the earth.
Shmoop Editorial Team. "Their Eyes Were Watching God Allusions & Cultural References." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 17 May 2014
"Biblical Allusions in Their Eyes Were Watching God." Docstoc.com. Web. 17 May 2014.
"Dante's Inferno - Circle 9 - Cantos 31-34." Dante's Inferno - Circle 9 - Cantos 31-34. Web. 17 May 2014.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel. New York: Perennial Library, 1990. Print.
"She felt like slapping some of them for sitting around grinning at her like a pack of chessy cats, trying to make out they looked like love." (pg. 90)
Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland." The Cheshire cat represents the logic in illogical situations.
"He did not return that night nor the next and so she plunged into the abyss and descended to the ninth darkness where the light has never been"
Dante: Inferno where the ninth circle of hell represents
. Oh dang. Janie feels betrayed by Tea cake because she thinks he has left her. 4 levels: betrayal of family ties, betrayal of community ties, betrayal of guests, and betrayal of liege lords. Traitors are froze in Cocytus, lake of ice, with each group encased in ice in progressively greater depths.
"...he'd be walkin' de water lak old Peter befo' he knowed it" (pg. 101)
Matthew 14:28-29: "And Peter answered him and said, lord i it be thou, bid me come unto thee water. And he said Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship he walked on the water, to go to Jesus." Tea Cake is teasing Janie about buying her a ship.
"Ah'm de Apostle Paul tuh de Gentiles" (pg. 104)
St. Paul's preaching the Gospel to the gentiles on the road to Damascus. Tea Cake preaches of womens beauty to them.
"You got de keys to de kingdom" (pg. 109)
Matthew 16:18-19: "And I say also unto thee, that thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unt thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Tea Cake is expressing his faith and commitment to Janie.