Differences Between Hurston and Wright

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Austin Turner
English 2303
Hurston and Wright Essay

In the 1930’s era, there lived two writers: Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright. Now, we may ask ourselves, “What do these two authors have to do with each other? What was the point of Dr. Johnson pairing these two books together?” For starters, they are both black and they are both accomplished in their line of work. But one contrast that stands out is that one is a man and one is a woman. What does this feature have to do with the pairing of the books, though? Well, both of these authors have written a book that has become a classic among the masses that have read them, but the feeling is not mutual between the writers themselves. For both of the writers’ works, a review is given by one another that really show how they feel about the other writer’s work. After reading each author’s work and reviews, Zora Neale Hurston’s review is more agreeable than Wright’s and there are many reasons as to why.

Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God is set mainly around Janie Crawford, a mixed race and headstrong woman, recalling her life story to her friend Pheoby. The story goes through her two failed marriages, ultimately leading up to her third marriage (and tragic ending) of her true love, Tea Cake. All throughout the story, a heavy, black dialect is used for the dialogue, making the story somewhat challenging to read. In Wright’s Black Boy, it is obvious that an autobiography is on these pages. It recounts Richard Wright’s life starting from when he burned his house down in Natchez, Mississippi, all the way through his life, ending with him going back to Chicago to be closer to his mother. Throughout the story, Wright gets into various accounts of trouble, prompting inevitable beatings from his elders. This is all happening while he gets a few jobs, writes a few published articles, and nomadically moves from place to place.

On October 5, 1937, Richard Wright had his review of Their Eyes Were Watching God...
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