their eyes were watching god

Topics: Zora Neale Hurston, African American, Southern United States Pages: 2 (536 words) Published: February 16, 2014
Yamini Polcum
2nd Period
Rasheed
Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God- Author’s Background
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, is the story of Janie Crawford’s quest to find real love. The story takes place Eatonville, Florida during the Harlem Renaissance in the early 20th century. The Harlem Renaissance was the name given to the cultural, social and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem between the end of World War I and the middle of the 1930s. The novel was published in 1937.

In the early 1900s many African Americans just like Hurston grew up in an hostile economic, political and social climate. At the time, the Ku Klux Klan was in session; the supporters of the klan mostly targeted African Americans. Exploitative inhabitant farming and sharecropping systems constituted the effect of re-enslavement of African Americans in the South where Their Eyes Were Watching God is based. Racism was gaining authority in the years leading up to Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Writers of the Harlem Renaissance attempted to expose the racist abuse in American society. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston uses vernacular southern African American english. The 1930s brought the Depression. As the Depression worsened, political tension increased in the United States causing the Harlem Renaissance to flourish. Most often, Their Eyes Were Watching God is associated with Harlem Renaissance literature, even though it was published in a later era, because of Hurston’s connection to that scene. However, different facets beg to differ in other literary contexts. For example, some critics argue that the novel should be read in the context of American Southern literature: with its countryside Southern setting and how much it focuses on the relationship between man and nature , the dynamics of human relationships, and the protagonist’s quest for independence.

Yamini Polcum
2nd Period
Rasheed
Their Eyes Were Watching God...
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