"Their Eyes Were Watching God" Analytical Essay by BrainC

"Their Eyes Were Watching God"
Discusses the metaphorical use of God's voice in this novel by Zora Neale Hurston.
# 53423 | 1,200 words | 1 source | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on Oct 25, 2004 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis)

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Ironically, Zora Neale Hurston's novel, "Their Eyes Were Watching God", is about voice more than sight. However, the voice has always been where mankind assumes divinity to exist; the Word of God is an important concept in Western thought. Therefore, it seems logical that the main character in a novel about a person's search for fulfillment would use both the metaphor of the voice and the presence of God as main concepts. The paper shows that, in this novel, God is not referred to very much, but it is obvious from the title that God is present. God is not actively present, however. Instead, the natural disasters that beset and befall Janie and the others are presented simply as natural parts of God's world, something to be watched and not "managed" or even feared. The paper shows how God's natural world and all its problems simply exist in a neutral way.

From the Paper:

"She never finds her ultimate true voice, however, until she has to shoot Tea Cake when he is out of his mind after being bitten by a rabid dog. She must testify at her murder trial, and it is easy for her. Despite her painful loss and her pain at causing Tea Cake's death, her love for him is obvious and gains her an acquittal from an all-white jury of men. Janie, by then, is no longer a light-skinned, raven-haired beauty who would be attractive to them to account for their decision. Therefore, it must be her voice that secures her release."

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