When Janie Starks returns home, the small Black community buzzes with gossip about the outcome of her affair with a younger man
their eyes were watching god
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The rediscovery of Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, first published in 1937 but subsequently out-of-print for decades, marks one of the most dramatic chapters in African-American literature and Women's Studies. Its popularity owes much to the lyricism of the prose, the pitch-perfect rendition of black vernacular English, and the memorable characters--most notably, Janie Crawford. Collecting the most widely cited and influential essays published on Hurston's classic novel over the last quarter century, this Casebook presents contesting viewpoints by Hazel Carby, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Barbara Johnson, Carla Kaplan, Daphne Lamothe, Mary Helen Washington, and Sherley Anne Williams. The volume also includes a statement Hurston submitted to a reference book on twentieth-century authors in 1942. As it records the major debates the novel has sparked on issues of language and identity, feminism and racial politics, A Casebook charts new directions for future critics and affirms the classic status of the novel.
An overview of the novel features a biographical sketch of the African American author, a list of characters, a summary of the plot, and critical and analytical views of the work.
An analysis of the literary values of Hurston's novel, as well as its reception--from largely dismissive reviews in 1937, through a revival of interest in the 1960s and its recent establishment as a major American novel.
A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick “A deeply soulful novel that comprehends love and cruelty, and separates the big people from the small of heart, without ever losing sympathy for those unfortunates who don’t know how to live properly.” —Zadie Smith One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.
The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background. The latest generation of titles in this series also feature glossaries and visual elements that complement the classic, familiar format. In CliffsNotes on Their Eyes Were Watching God, you discover the work of one of the 20th century's first African-American female authors—Zora Neale Hurston. In the novel, Janie Crawford returns to her hometown in Florida and relates to her friend Pheoby the tragic story of her 40-year search for love and respect. Chapter summaries and commentaries take you through Janie's journey, and critical essays give you insight into the novel's themes and structure, as well as Hurston's use of figurative language and dialect. Other features that help you study include Character analyses of the main characters A character map that graphically illustrates the relationships among the characters A section on the life and background of Zora Neale Hurston A review section that tests your knowledge A Resource Center full of books, articles, films, and Internet sites Classic literature or modern-day treasure—you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
This compelling volume examines Zora Neale Hurston's life and writings, with a specific look at key ideas related to Their Eyes Were Watching God. Essays discuss a variety of topics, including whether the novel can be viewed as an example for all women, whether it still relevant today, and whether it proves that romantic fantasies cannot last. The book also explores contemporary perspectives on women's issues, such as the idea of women creating their own model of a female hero and the impact of white stereotypes on modern black women.
"Belongs in the category ... of enduring American literature." -- Saturday Review Fair and long-legged, independent and articulate, Janie Crawford sets out to be her own person -- no mean feat for a black woman in the '30s. Janie's quest for identity takes her through three marriages and into a journey back to her roots.
Zora Neale Hurston's;Their Eyes Were Watching God;is currently recognized as one of the masterpieces of the Afro-American canon.