Books and Movies Reviews

The use of race in Their eyes were watching god

The Use of Race in Their Eyes Were Watching God
This novel, while poetically conveying a black woman’s pursuit of true love, seriously addresses society’s ability to be judgmental and oppressive.Gender, race, economic security, and social stratification share equally important roles in the development of the main character, Janie.Hurston vividly describes how each qualification specifically affects the character, although the racial implications are much more subtle.This subtlety allows the reader to mistakenly perceive indifferent or positive feelings towards the novel's black community.
Hurston initially establishes the ideal unimportance of race by using Janie’s innocent childhood memory.Janie painfully recalls Mr. Washburn, who is the father of the family with whom they live, abusively laughing at her belief of being the same as his white children.She also remembers being teased by the other black children for her clothing, which is better than others; because hers is the Washburn children;s old clothing.This recollection is multiply used by Hurston. It capitalizes children;s acceptance of people for their actions, which is surpassingly more believable than portraying adults with the same feelings. It displays the dependence of black people on white people for success.Finally, it instates the Washburn family as the representation of white culture; accordingly initiating a negative undertone towards Janie;s ethnicity.However, these prejudices and their undermining effect depicted within the novel are soundly contrasted by Janie;s peaceful disposition at the end of her narration.
Hurston masterfully uses the emotional responses of the black characters, specifically pertaining to successful and potentially successful endeavors of Joe, as metaphors of society;s prejudice. The initial astonishment of the black characters to Joe;s monetary holdings and accomplishments deftly…

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