I stand in utter shamelessness and say that whatever art I have for writing has been used always for propaganda for gaining the right of black folk to love and enjoy. Many scholars of the era believed that one way to do so was to omit the folk from artistic representations of blacks in America because folk culture did not assimilate into mainstream society. How do the items in this source set complicate early- to mid-twentieth-century views of the folk?
Historical context[ edit ] Racial Climate in the Early s[ edit ] With legislation like the Jim Crow lawsenacted from tomany African-Americans were disfranchised. Groups like the Ku Klux Klan terrorized black citizens, leading to the steady decline of African-American political representation.
Tenant farming and sharecropping systems constituted the de facto re-enslavement of African Americans in the South, where Hurston's novel is based. Baptist preacher Thomas Dixon, Jr.
A Romance of the White Man's Burden inasserting white supremacy amidst supposed African-American evil and corruption.
The book was so popular that Dixon wrote a trilogy. His second novel, The Clansmanwas adapted for the silent film The Birth of a Nationportraying African-American men in an unintelligent, sexually aggressive light The renaissance was meant to be a liberating response to the restrictive standards of the Racial Uplift program, encouraging writers and artists to expose racist oppression in American society.
In an essay by Nick Aaron Ford, Hurston is quoted to have to said, "Many Negroes criticise my book, because I did not make it a lecture on the race problem.
I am interested in you now, not as a Negro man but as a man. I am not interested in the race problem, but I am interested in the problems of individuals, white ones and black ones. Hurston viewed her work as distinct from the work of fellow Harlem Renaissance writers she described as the "sobbing school of Negrohood" that portrayed the lives of black people as constantly miserable, downtrodden and deprived.
In addition, Hurston refused to censor women's sexuality, writing in beautiful innuendo to embrace the physical dimension of her main character's romances. Completely rejecting the Uplift agenda, the magazine also included homoerotic work as well as portrayals of prostitution.
Readers receive the story of her life in three major periods corresponding to her marriages to three very different men. The flashback in the book begins with Janie's sexual awakening which she compares to a pear blossom in spring.
Not long after, Janie allows a local boy, Johnny Taylor, to kiss her, which Janie's grandmother, Nanny, witnesses. Nanny is an elderly woman who, as a slave, was raped by her owner and gave birth to a mixed-race daughter Leafy. Nanny escaped from her jealous mistress and found a good home after the end of the American Civil War.
Nanny tried to create a good life for her daughter, but Leafy was raped by her school teacher and became pregnant with Janie. Shortly after Janie's birth, Leafy began to drink and stay out at night. Eventually, she ran away, leaving her daughter Janie with Nanny.
Nanny, afraid Janie's life may follow Leafy's or her own, transfers all the hopes she had for Leafy to Janie and arranges for Janie to marry Logan Killicks, an older farmer looking for a wife. Although Janie is not interested in either Logan or marriage, her grandmother wants her to have the stability she never had; legal marriage to Killicks, Nanny believes, will give Janie opportunities.
Nanny feels that Janie will be unable to take care of herself, so she must marry a man who will take care of her.
Janie's image of the pear tree causes her to imagine that marriage must involve love—in Janie's pear tree scene, she sees bees pollinating a pear tree and believes that marriage is the human equivalent to this natural process.Finding Her Voice in Their Eyes Were Watching God - Janie Crawford, the main character of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, strives to find her own voice throughout the novel and, in my opinion, she succeeds even though it takes her over thirty years to do it.
Their Eyes Were Watching God is a novel by Zora Neale Hurston that was first published in The most prevalent themes in Their Eyes Were Watching God involve Janie's search for unconditional, true, and fulfilling love.
She experiences different kinds of love throughout her life. As a result of her quest for this love, Janie gains her own independence and personal freedom, which makes her a. Critical Essays Major Themes of Their Eyes Were Watching God Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List The most prevalent themes in Their Eyes Were Watching God involve Janie's search for unconditional, true, and fulfilling love.
In her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston presents the theme of gender roles and their significance in African American culture during the ’s. In chapter six Hurston shows the importance males put on feeling superior to their female partners and forcing them in a .
The short story by Zora Neale Hurston “Their Eyes Were Watching God” the reader has its setting in a small village in the South, and the story picks up as the townspeople watch a strange female figure as she makes her way through town.