Emily Marsala's Reviews > Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
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Mar 12, 2012

really liked it

This book gave me great insight into a world I cannot imagine. I am very interested in the time period and idea of this novel, a time when women and African Americans were shunned as lower class citizens, and have found that reading provides an excellent view. Just before reading 'Their Eyes Were Watching God,' I finished reading Alice Walker's 'The Color Purple.' I loved Walker's perspective and use of dialect to put the reader in the time. Coincidentally, right on the cover of my copy of 'Their Eyes,' a quote from Walker shares that Hurston was a great influence for 'The Color Purple.' I found Hurston to be a master of dialect and storytelling.

Each character in 'Their Eyes' has a rich development. Readers are shown multiple levels of Janie, Jody, and Tea Cake, as well as levels in various minor characters. Janie in particular I found fascinating. She is so independent and strong, especially for an African American woman in the time of the white man. She defies social norms of women and marriage. I am inspired by her energy.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in women's rights and feminism, African American culture and history, or just classic stories about the underdog. I gave it four stars because although in the end I loved the book, it has a slow beginning. Upon a second read, I believe that the details in the beginning of the novel will seem more significant and that I will appreciate them more. I strongly encourage readers to persist and keep reading even though the first few chapters move slowly, because the conclusion of the novel is so powerful and unforgettable.
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message 1: by Jen Robben (new)

Jen Robben Excellent language--a very read-able review! :)


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