This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Response To The Article On Vodou Imagery, African American Tradition And Cultural Transformation In Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.

1177 words - 5 pages

I recently read your article titled “Vodou Imagery, African-American Tradition and Cultural Transformation in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Your article mentions how Zora Neal Hurston wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God while she was collecting folklore on Vodou in Haiti. You proceed to discuss the Haitian Vodou imagery present in the novel as well as the influence that it had. You claim that Hurston’s use of Haitian Vodou doesn’t signal a rejection of modernity, but rather an acknowledgement of it (158). Although I disagree with your argument that Ezili is the predominant Vodou element in Their Eyes Were Watching God, I agree with your claim that Hurston’s use of Vodou not only empowers Janie to transcend the stereotype that black women had preordained constraints, but also gives the character of Janie a deeper meaning.
Although you provide a detailed analysis of the similarities between Janie and the Vodou goddess, Ezili, you fail to address the breadth of the Vodou imagery in Their Eyes Were Watching God. Ezili is certainly an important goddess in the Vodou religion, but you leave out other ones that play an important role in the novel. Dumballah is one such god that you fail to mention, and he is represented by one of the characters in the novel. Dumballah is represented as a snake on Vodou culture, and he is also the source of peace and tranquility. He is also supposed to be a benevolent father who doesn’t speak much, but radiates a comforting presence. In my opinion, he is represented by Jody, because Jody shares certain characteristics with Dumballah. Jody becomes the mayor of Eatonville and helps the whole town through his benevolence. Although he doesn’t treat Janie very well, he acts as a loving father by taking care of the whole town as its mayor. The townspeople respond to Jody’s kind act of saving a mule from its suffering by saying, “’It’s uh noble thing you done.’ Everybody agreed with that” (Hurston 54).
Not only does your article lack information about Dumballah, but it also lacks any mention of Ogoun, the god of fire and iron. Ogoun is mighty and powerful, but can cause harm with his destructive anger. I would argue that Ogoun is represented by Logan Killicks, because while Ogoun works hard at his forge, Logan works hard on a farm all day. Lastly, you leave out Agwe from your analysis, even though Agwe is, in my opinion, a very important god to consider when discussing the role of Haitian Vodou in Their Eyes Were Watching God. Agwe is the god of the seas, and his symbols are small boats. Tea Cake is the character in the novel that most closely represents Agwe, because they both have a connection with water. It is interesting to note that both Janie and Tea Cake wear blue when they get married, which is the color associated with water. In addition, Tea Cake teaches Janie to fish, which again connects to the seas. Although Janie is the protagonist of the novel, you should have at least outlined the Vodou...

Find Another Essay On Response to the Article on Vodou Imagery, African-American Tradition and Cultural Transformation in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

1599 words - 6 pages Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston portrays the religion of black people as a form of identity. Each individual in the black society Hurston has created worships a different God. But all members of her society find their identities by being able to believe in a God, spiritual or other. Grandma’s worship of Jesus and the “Good Lawd,” Joe Starks’ worship of himself, Mrs

Janie's Marriages and Personal Growth in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

767 words - 3 pages In the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie Crawford the main character goes through some big changes. Throughout this book Janie struggles to find her inner voice and purpose of love. She looks high and low for a sign of what love really is and she finds it as being the pear tree. The pear tree is very symbolic and ultimately shows Janie what love is and how it should be in a healthy relationship. This tree, with

The Problem of the Female: Marriage and 'Sistergirl' Relationships in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

4389 words - 18 pages of the folk stories she collected.On September 22, 1936, Zora left Jamaica for Haiti, where she would stay until March of 1937. She spent some time in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, but in December, took a trip to nearby rural town of île de Gonâve. While there, a flood of emotion inside of her was released, and led her to begin work on what was to become her most celebrated and accomplished work, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Janie's Struggle To Find Her Voice. Character from Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God"

545 words - 2 pages Janie Crawford, the main character of Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, strives to find her own voice throughout the novel and, in my opinion, she succeeds even though it takes her over thirty years to do it. Each one of her husbands has a different effect on her ability to find that voice.Janie discovers her will to find her voice when she is living with Logan. Since she did not marry him for love, tensions arise as time moves

The Black Woman's Burden in Three Novels: Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Toni Mo

1980 words - 8 pages in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. Others will focus on the maternal struggle faced by black woman in America as Sethe in Toni Morrison's Beloved embodies. The more traditional but equally valid perspective deals with racial tensions and how racism challenges the inner strength of black woman as seen in the character of Sofia in Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Each angle of discussion serves to further categorize and

Zora Neale Hurston's quest for happiness outside the realm of financial success in "Their Eyes Were Watching God"Happiness

755 words - 3 pages Zora Neale Hurston writes beyond her time by making Their Eyes were Watching God a book that celebrates black culture and pride. While her contemporaries were pumping out books that read like Martin Luther King Jr. speech transcripts, Hurston wrote about her heritage and her people in a way that spoke volumes about how black cultures unique. This style of writing transcended the precedent set by other writers of her time. Hurston develops

The Life of American Women in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God

1068 words - 5 pages Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God is a novel illustrating the life of an African American woman that finds her voice through many trials and tribulations. At the heart of the story, Hurston portrays a protagonist who moves from a passive state to independence, from passive woman with no voice who is dominated by her husband to a woman who can think and act for herself. Hurston achieves the greater theme of Their Eyes Were

Zora Neale Hurston's They Eyes Were Watching God

2315 words - 9 pages Zora Neale Hurston's They Eyes Were Watching God It’s no wonder that “[t]he hurricane scene in Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is a famous one and [that] other writers have used it in an effort to signify on Hurston” (Mills, “Hurston”). The final, climactic portion of this scene acts as the central metaphor of the novel and illustrates the pivotal interactions that Janie, the protagonist, has with her Nanny and

Zola Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

1273 words - 6 pages Opening the Heart “We wander for distraction but we travel for fulfillment,” is a great description for what Janie Crawford is looking for on her journey in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (10). It is very clear from the text that Janie is searching for something to fill an empty gap she has due to her past experiences. Her problems could have rooted from her early childhood when she was abandoned by both parents. Her identity

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

1290 words - 5 pages Zora Hurston was an African American proto-feminist author who lived during a time when both African Americans and women were not treated equally. Hurston channeled her thirst for women’s dependence from men into her book Their Eyes Were Watching God. One of the many underlying themes in her book is feminism. Zora Hurston, the author of the book, uses Janie to represent aspects of feminism in her book as well as each relationship Janie had to

The Characterization of Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

780 words - 3 pages In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston which is set in the 1930’s explores the life of an African American women from the south, that trying to find herself. The protagonist of this novel is Janie Crawford. In the novel, Janie is going on a journey to find who she really is and to find spiritual enlightenment. To help shape Janie character in this novel Hurston is influence by the philosophical view from the Romanticism

Similar Essays

Love In Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

862 words - 3 pages Love in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God The novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1937) is a search for self-fulfillment and true love. On a porch in a small town called Eatonville a story is told about an attractive African American women's journey. Her name is Janie Crawford. Her struggle to find companionship and herself starts as a young girl who had lost both of her parents. She lives with her

Mythology In Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God"

1118 words - 4 pages Were Watching God Tea Cake is portrayed as a musician, again a parallel between him and Osiris. With Zora Neale Hurston traveling around the world and collecting myths of all different countries and cultures she is clearly an expert on mythology. Since the she could see the tradition of oral story telling was dying she kept it alive in her writing. She was able to tell a story that would not only be appealing to a woman or an African American but to everybody. In doing so she was accomplishing her goal of spreading and preserving mythology. Many of the key plot elements and characters were based on the myths that Hurston had researched and was familiar with.

Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

3964 words - 16 pages equality must be earned and is not given due to the values, ethics and morals that society promotes. This truth is supported and proven by narrative conventions and other writing techniques by Zora Neale Hurston in the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Zora Neale Hurston uses the theme of sexism in the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, to demonstrate her truth. Hurston’s truth is that equality is not given due to society’s values and must be

Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

1401 words - 6 pages Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God      “’…but she don’t seem to mind at all. Reckon dey understand one ‘nother.’” A woman’s search for her own free will to escape the chains of other people in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. In the continuing philosophical debate of free will versus determinism, the question arises as to whether or not free will exists. Do people really have the capability of making