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The Impact Of Hurston's Life Experiences On The Character Janie In Their Eyes Were Watching God

791 words - 3 pages

The novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston explores the life of an African American woman from the south who is trying to find herself. The protagonist of this novel is Janie Crawford. She is trying to defy what people expect of her, and she lives her life searching to have a better life. Zora Neale Hurston’s life experiences influence the book in many ways, including language, personality, and life experiences.

Through her use of southern black language in the book Zora Neale Hurston illustrates the vernacular she grew up speaking. Black Vernacular is “any of the nonstandard varieties of English Spoken by African American. It is also called Black English, Black English vernacular.” In the “Black Vernacular” article, it states that “African- American dialects tend to drop the [t] from words like rest and soft. They likewise tend to drop the [r] in words like bird, four, door, and father.” In the novel, Janie said, “Ah wants things sweet wid mah marriage lak when you sit under a pear tree” (24). The word more in the quote drops [re], and there are differences in pronunciation. The book is full of southern black vernacular. Therefore, it shows a connection between the author and Janie, they all speak the same dialect.

The author’s outgoing personality has created the character Janie. Zora Neale Hurston has a charming, interesting personality that enjoys people, and stories. According to the short biography by Valeria Boyd, “Zora Neale Hurston”, “Zora Neale Hurston could walk into a roomful of strangers and, a few minutes and a few stories later, leave them so completely charmed that they often found themselves offering to help her in anyway they could.” The author is a very sociable person, this also shows that Janie has a similar character, but in her first two marriages she has to hide it away. This is much different than the treatment she gets in the Everglades with Tea Cake. Tea Cake allows her to be his peer and be herself. Hurston writes In Their Eyes Were Watching God, “She got to be a better shot than Tea Cake. They’d go out any late afternoon and come back loaded down with game” (131). Yet, Janie enjoys herself with Tea Cake more than she has with any other man. Tea Cake does not limit her to a particular person; he enjoys life and...

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