The review, “Between Laughter and Tears” by Richard Wright, evaluates the novel, “Their Eyes Were Watching God” in a very poor, and biased manner. The review begins by roughly summarizing the novel, and reflecting on it.
Richard Wright believed that Hurston failed to convey any type of message, thought or theme. He believed her original audience and motive for writing the book was to entertain the white readers with a story that would make them laugh. All of Wright’s reflections are inaccurate, because the title of the book itself hints at a religious theme. The title, “Their Eyes Were Watching God” means the creation of a new form of humanity, that is no longer based on the master and slave society.
Wrights ‘summary’ on “Their Eyes Were Watching God” seems to have a negative approach. He points out key points in the story line, but fails to go in-depth with the characters feelings, and mainly just explains what the climax’s are. For instance, he points out the three men Janie has be associated with, but doesn’t explain how her feelings change after time with each of her husbands.
Wright also seems to sexist, as he bashes Hurston, but has a a feeling of sympathy with Waters Turpin. He seems to feel pity with Turpin’s writings as “an honest man trying to desperately say something” whereas Hurston “lacks even that excuse. He claims she wanted to exploit a period of Negro life that would remind white readers of when they were a “superior race”.
In the end, Wright’s biased, and poorly constructed review, is nothing more than a negative bashing on the very talented writer. His beliefs on Hurston not being a writer of “serious fiction” has no persuasive thoughts on why her novel is not significant.
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