Their Eyes Were Watching God Critical Analysis

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Kaylyn Barta Mr. Hopkins AP English Literature March 9th, 2015 Hurston Does Not Need To Be Wright English theatre writer Kenneth Tynan once said, “A critic is a man who knows the way, but can’t drive the car.” Richard Wright seemed to fit the bill of this quote, as he judgmentally assessed the black literature produced by Zora Neale Hurston without substantiated endorsement. In his critique of her distinguished novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, Wright voices an opinion of harsh disapproval; he faults Hurston’s simplistic story, lack of theme, and exploit of Negro life as a means of entertainment for other races. Yet, what Wright fails to appreciate in the tale of Janie Crawford is the theme that differentiates the novel from all others…show more content…
Pheoby praises the emboldening account of Janie Crawford’s incredible metamorphic journey, which ensued following her brave decision to leave Eatonville behind with a dauntless gamble on love. The story of Janie’s life after her exodus from Eatonville was one that inspired Pheoby and the women of that small Florida town – in addition to the thousands of readers that picked up Hurston’s novel. In actuality, Zora’s literary work surpassed the confinements of Wright’s critiques, and the superficial standards he based them on. Hurston was accused of neglecting the messages worthy of representation in black literature – she, however, presented the forthcoming notion of feminine freedom while also subtlety commenting on the neglected problems of racial clashes. The story of Janie explores the personal, emotional, and intellectual conflict of following one’s heart, as it simultaneously notes the social issues of prejudice, such as same-race racism. Hurston presents Miss Turner’s character to exemplify the critical nature of African-Americans against one another, when she says, “if it wuzn’t for so many black folks it wouldn’t be no race problem…De black ones is holdin’ us back” (141). Zora did not include every issue important to black literature from the viewpoint of Wright, but she certainly did include the snubbed problems which held a great importance from her own

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