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Their Eyes Were Watching God

Themes and Methodology


Frame Device Voice Three voices to consider that of the: o uthor o !ee biographic handout voice for frican-american women" who had none at this point in history" ignored by the predominately white mainstream literature and critics Three literary voices: o Janie$s Figurative Language metaphor" language of nature tied to human nature realism vs) fantasy know when one spins into the other (ersonal" real a connection to the reader" intimacy uthor$s: standard %nglish &haracters$: southern dialect 'ree indirect discourse as the author$s standard voice lapses into that of the characters see handout Janie frames her story as a flashback of sorts: This is what happened value of such: storytelling angle: intimate and personal

#iterary

Heros Journey, coming-of-age elements Gender roles and expectations linked to t ereof self-defining" transcending e*pected boundaries resistance mistakes made +twice" actually: once a mule and once a bauble,

Things to think about while reading: re -urston.s portrayals of these /unrefined/ and uneducated folk a celebration or a mockery0 1s -urston.s consistent use of southern black dialect far removed from white minstrelsy and its presentation of blacks as unintelligent and blundering0 2oes -urston glorify white people" particularly her white patrons" by catering to their racist notions of how and what fiction about blacks should be written0

2oes -urston oversimplify the oppressions of blacks and women in a racist" se*ist" and capitalist merican society0

Free Indirect Discourse


Before a fiction writer can write, the writer must develop a narrative voice. Finding a voice is not easy, especially for African-American women who have traditionally been denied literary self-expression. Mary Daly writes about the seemingly insurmountable problems that afflict women of color. She uotes Alice !al"er who poses the following uestion# How was the creativity of the Black woman kept alive, year after year and century after century, when for most of the years Black people have been in America, it was a punishable crime for a Black person to read or write? (Pure ust $%&'. By refusing to repudiate her fol" origins and by insisting on a natural unpretentious style, (ora )eale *urston con+ures a narrative voice which is her own. Although the poetic images she con+ures are powerful, her genius is most evident in the style of writing which she created. ,he style that *urston brings to African-American literature uses the narrative mode of free indirect discourse which is defined by *enry -ouis .ates /r. in his introduction to !he "i#nifyin# $onkey# %ree indirect discourse is represented in this canonical te&t 0,heir 1yes !ere !atching God] as if it were a dynamic character, with shifts in its level of diction drawn upon to reflect a certain development of self' consciousness in a hybrid character, a character who is neither the novel(s prota#onist nor the te&t(s disembodied narrator, but a blend of both, an emer#ent and mer#in# moment of consciousness) (&&vi*
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Hurston creates a narrative voice not only to be able to express herself as an artist but to give a literary voice to the people of her black community. 2n her autobiography, +ust !racks on a Road, *urston writes about her mother3s death and her mother3s unspo"en plea for her daughter to spea" for her# Papa was standin# at the foot of the bed and turned it around so that $ama(s eyes would face the east) , thou#ht that she looked to me as the head of the bed was reversed) Her mouth was sli#htly open, but her breathin# took up so much of her stren#th that she could not talk) But she looked at me, or so , felt, to speak for her) "he depended on me for a voice (-.'/*)
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2n her free indirect discourse, *urston supplies her characters with words to enable them to articulate their thoughts. *urston employs two other modes of narration along with free indirect discourse4 they are direct discourse and indirect discourse. 2n order to explain free indirect discourse, 2 will first give examples of direct discourse and indirect discourse. ,hen to illustrate the special ualities of *urston3s free indirect discourse, 2 will give an example. Simply put, direct discourse is written in black vernacular, indirect discourse is in standard English, and free indirect discourse is the integration of both. 5et, it is so much more, as .ates suggests# !he narrative voice Hurston created, and her le#acy to Afro'American fiction, is a lyrical and disembodied yet individual voice, from which emer#es a sin#ular lon#in# and utterance, a transcendent, ultimately racial self, e&tendin# far beyond the merely individual) %or Hurston, the search for a tellin# form of lan#ua#e, indeed the search for a black literary lan#ua#e itself, defines the search for the self) (!he "i#nifyin# $onkey 0-1*
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After her husband /oe Star"s has provided the town with a general store and a street lamp and has become mayor of 1atonville, /anie reali6es that the townspeople envy her. 2n the following episode, *urston manipulates the narrative viewpoint by utili6ing the three modes of narration mentioned above. ,he evening after the ceremonial lighting of the town3s first street light, /oe Star"s and his wife /anie are in bed together. !hen they spea" to each other in blac" vernacular, they spea" in direct discourse:

2ell, honey, how yuh lak bein( $rs) $ayor? ,t(s all ri#ht Ah reckon, but don(t yuh think it keeps us in a kinda strain? (!heir 3yes 41*

After their conversation ends, the narrator enters and spea"s about /anie in indirect discourse: 5A feelin# of coldness and fear took hold of her) "he felt far away from thin#s and lonely (44*)
Following a white space in the text, the narrator continues in indirect discourse# 6anie soon be#an to feel the impact of awe and envy a#ainst her sensibilities (44*) But as one continues to read, the narrator3s language ma"es a subtle shift as *urston begins her free indirect discourse. 2n the following excerpt, the narrator shows how the townspeople feel about the fancy spittoon that /oe Star"s bought for his wife# He bou#ht a little lady'si7e spittin# pot for 6anie to spit in) Had it ri#ht in the parlor with little spri#s of flowers painted all around the sides) ,t sort of made the rest of them feel that they had been taken advanta#e of) ike thin#s had been kept from them) $aybe more thin#s in the world besides spittin# pots had been hid from them, when they wasn(t told no better than to spit in tomato cans) ,t was bad enou#h for white people, but when one of your own color could be so different it put you on a wonder) ,t was like seein# your sister turn into a 5#ator) A familiar stran#eness) 8ou keep seein# your sister in the 5#ator and the 5#ator in your sister, and you(d rather not) !here was no doubt that the town respected him and even admired him in a way) But any man who walks in the way of power and property is bound to meet hate) (49*
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,he free indirect discourse, while not written in the rural blac" dialect of central Florida, is not nearly as restrained nor as lac"ing in images as the language of the indirect discourse. Although the protagonist /anie and the narrator achieve an authentic voice in the powerful images con+ured in the free indirect discourse, this uni ue mode of narration was problematic for many readers. ,he +uxtaposition of language styles as evident in the excerpt of free indirect discourse given above proved ir"some for many of the earlier critics. 2t proved difficult to accept a sentence such as $aybe more thin#s in the world besides spittin# pots had been hid from them, when they wasn(t told no better than to spit in tomato cans in the same paragraph with a sentence such as But any man who walks in the way of power and property is bound to meet hate) 7obert *emenway, in his literary biography, :ora ;eale Hurston, points out this problem# As a dedicated Harlem <enaissance artist, :ora Hurston, searched hard for a way to transfer the life of the people, the folk ethos, into the accepted modes of formali7ed fiction) "he knew the folkloric conte&t better than any of her contemporaries, and this led to a personal style that many did not understand) (9.* 2n her essay 89haracteristics of )egro 1xpression: *urston writes about the dichotomy of language she resolves in free indirect discourse. She writes# His =!he African'American(s> words are action words) His interpretation of the 3n#lish lan#ua#e is in terms of pictures) ?ne act described in terms of another) Hence the rich metaphor and simile@so we can say the white man thinks in a written lan#ua#e and the ;e#ro thinks in hiero#lyphics) (49-50) Because of her special genius, *urston was able to do both to thin" in a written language and to thin" in hieroglyphics, to blend standard 1nglish with blac" vernacular in free indirect discourse.
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Their Eyes Were Watching God Glossary


Chapter One porch sitters: hard-wor"ing farmers and laborers4 men and women who wor" for someone else;a white boss. <nly in the evening do they gain control of their time. /anie3s late husband, /oe Star"s, seems to be the only man in 1atonville who didn3t wor" for someone else. dat ole forty year ole oman: a reference to /anie4 the remar", by a woman, about a woman, is made out of spite and envy. Although /anie is &= years old, she is still an attractive woman, much to the annoyance of the women. bander log: possibly a long log that people sat on while they bantered, +o"ed, and gossiped. fall to their level: ,he women hope that /anie will someday, somehow, stop having an aura about her. *er charisma reinforces their envy and is proof that they do not thin" well of themselves. to study about: Mrs. Sump"ins3 phrase that means she isn3t 8thin"ing about: /anie4 ironically, from her remar"s, she has evidently spent much time doing +ust that. She sits high, but she looks low: -ulu Moss suggests that while /anie carries herself in a high-mannered way, her social standing has come down considerably after her relationship with ,ea 9a"e. booger man: the mythical monster who is often called the 8boogeyman:4 a frightening imaginary being, often used as a threat in disciplining children. mulatto rice: a concoction of coo"ed rice, chopped and browned onions, crisp bacon bits, and some chopped tomatoes. lamps and chimneys: the reference is to "erosene lamps. Apparently, /anie, a good house"eeper, either left the lamps clean when she went away or too" time to clean at least one of them as soon as she returned. >erosene lamps and their chimneys must be clean in order to function properly. stove wood: Although /anie has the most pretentious house in town, it does not have gas or electricity4 she must coo" on a woodburning stove. outh!"lmighty: someone who tal"s too much. fraternal or church organi6ations and going to their conventions and meetings. /anie wants ?heoby to understand that her experiences in the past eighteen months were as exciting as attending a convention. hard of understandin: ?heoby will want a detailed explanation to be sure that she understands all that /anie says. a mink skin . . . a coon hide: one thing loo"s pretty much li"e something else until both can be studied carefully. )o one can understand what /anie3s life was li"e with ,ea 9a"e or with /oe until each is examined carefully. onstropolous: hyperbole invented by *urston4 perhaps an extension of monstrous. Chapter Two never hit us a lick amiss they didn3t deserve it. never beat or span"ed the children when

palma christi leaves the leaves of a gigantic herb plant called palma christi in Spanish-spea"ing countries4 its leaves are believed to reduce severe headaches. bore the burden in the heat of the day ,he biblical reference is to Matthew @=#$@# 8,hese latecomers did only one hour3s wor", yet you have treated them on a level with us, who have sweated the whole day long in the bla6ing sun.: school out . . . high bush and sweeter berry ta"e more time to loo" around and thin" about what you want to do. ?ic"ing a good husband is compared to "nowing what part of a berry bush has the sweetest fruit. angel with the sword a metaphor for death4 the biblical reference comes from )umbers @@#@A# 8. . . the angel standing in the door with his sword drawn. . . .: got in $uotation wid people Sherman3s march had ended, the slaves had been freed, and the Bnion had set up a system to help the freedmen. 2t was only by tal"ing around, though, that )anny found out what was going on. Chapter Three beaten biscuits Southern coo"s have long prided themselves on their beaten biscuits, pounding the dough for @= or A= minutes with a mallet or hammer, beating air into it until it is light. kissin yo foot e ual. acting more li"e a servant than a husband and an

"n envious heart makes the treacherous ear: ?heoby characteri6es the gossipy women with this biblical-sounding adage. a lost ball in de high grass: ,he townspeople love baseball4 not only do they li"e to watch it, but they also li"e to play it. ,he field where they play has tall, uncut grass, and fly balls are often lost and the game delayed while both teams search for the ball. #hey dont know if life is a mess of corn!meal dumplings and if love is a bed $uilt: ,he experiences of the townspeople are so limited that they can3t ma"e any valid observations on life and love. come kiss and be kissed: come and tal" to me, /anie is saying4 it3s implied that the townspeople should do more of this in their lives. #he ssociation of life . . . %e &rand 'odge, de big convention of livin: /anie refers here to the common experience of belonging to

buy and sell such as them )anny is concerned about both the protection and economic security that -ogan can offer /anie.

Chapter Four free(olity indifference, or a lac" of interest.

sleeveholders fancy elastic bands similar to women3s garters, worn on the upper arm of a shirt sleeve to be sure that the cuff falls exactly where the wearer wants it.

in and through &eorgy .eorgia.

living in and passing through the state of

sugar!tit cloth tied around a bit of sugar to form a nipple-li"e pacifier for a baby. ribbon!cane syrup fall down and wash up yo royal diasticutis sorghum molasses. fall down and worship.

rub board ,he old-fashioned galvani6ed or glass washing board was in common use before washing machines became economically available. before de ornery varmit could tack a sailing and boating term, consistent with the strong wind that was blowing during this episode. ,o a sailor, 8tac": means to turn the bow to the wind. ,he mule wasn3t fast enough to turn and run into the wind in pursuit of the children. Say you started tuh iccanopy but de mule . . . Miccanopy is a small community northwest of 1atonville. ,he man didn3t really "now where he was going. -olks up dat way dont eat biscuit bread but once a week Biscuits must be made of white wheat flour, something better than cornmeal. 9ornmeal is the staple of the poor, used in corn bread, corn pone, hush puppies, cornmeal mush, and a host of other stomach-filling items. Biscuits are special and an indication of some prosperity. side!meat Matt bought side meat by the slice. Side meat is meat from the side of a pig, specifically bacon or salt por". 2n /oe3s store, it would be sold by the slab to be sliced at home by the purchaser or sliced and weighed in the store. ,his is another indication of Matt3s poverty or ignorance;or both. black gaiters an"le-high shoes with elastic gores at the sides. For /oe, they would be a classy sort of houseslipper. cra(y as a betsy bug a variation of 8cra6y as a bed bug,: an insect of a family C9imicidae' of wingless, bloodsuc"ing hemipteran insects, especially the species CAime& lectularius' with a broad, flat reddish-brown body and an unpleasant odor that infests beds, furniture, walls, and so on, is active mainly at night, and may transmit a variety of diseases. you didnt have gumption matters4 common sense. 8.umption: is shrewdness in practical

a sarcastic reference to /anie3s buttoc"s.

Chapter Five sitting on their shoulder blades down that sitting. a huge live oak tree a position that3s closer to lying

an evergreen oa".

uh mite too previous 2n this particular collo uialism, 8previous: means 8a little too early.: iddle &eorgy the middle of the state of .eorgia.

"hm uh son of )ombunction a polite way of swearing4 similar to 8!ell, 23ll be a son of a gun. . . .: "ll de women in de world aint . . . teppentine still and saw mill camp free and easy women, women from the lowest level of laborers. ,urpentine stills and saw mills were usually located in the woods, removed from town and close to the trees essential for their products. *saac and +ebecca at de well ,his biblical reference is not literally accurate. 2saac never met 7ebecca at the well. 2saac3s father3s servant encountered 7ebecca at the well. ,he servant had prayed for divine guidance in finding a wife for 2saac;that after his long +ourney to the land of Aramnaharaim, a generous and humble woman would approach him at the community well and offer him a drin" of fresh water from her +ug, as well as to offer to draw sufficient water for his camels. 7ebecca did so and agreed to leave her village and travel to the land of 9anaan to become 2saac3s wife. "ll them dats goin tuh cut de monkey everyone has finished acting silly. bell!cow town. in other words, if

%rag him out to the edge of the hammock a precarious place to be because a hammoc" tips very easily when the occupant gets too close to the edge. /o att 0onner with plow lines ?low lines control an animal. )ow that the mule is dead, he will no longer be hitched to the plow. "h knowed you would going tuh crawl up dat holler 2n other words, 2 "new that you were going to ta"e that path in the discussion. Sam will 8smo"e out: -ige in his rebuttal. ,he two men engage in regular and predictable arguments. 1ach one "nows pretty well what the other one will say, but all of this is part of the entertainment on the porch of the store. uh butt!headed cow owner wants it to do. a stubborn animal that won3t do what its

the leader of the herd4 here, the most important women in

,rotolapsis uh de cutinary linin ,he reference is to something that upsets the stomach and ma"es a person nervous. *urston is pointing out the men3s fondness for impressive words, whether they have real meaning or not. the street lamp Before electric lights were common, cities and towns lighted their streets with gas lamps. ,he lamplighter would go around at dus" with a small four- or five-step ladder which he would climb to open the globe of the lamp and light the wic".

Chapter Six . . . and yo feet aint mates 2n the first part of Matt3s response, he does something that fre uently occurs in fol" speech# *e e uates the man Sam with a lie. 85ou3se a lie, Sam,: he says, adding 85o3 feet ain3t mates,: meaning that Sam is not put together right and hence can3t be believed. -eeds im offa .come up and seasons it wid raw!hide ,his is a way of saying that the animal is not well fed. 89ome up: would be a promise;someone is waiting for something to come up, a +ob, for example. 7awhide is untanned cattle s"in, certainly not very palatable for man or beast. 7awhide is also a material used for whips.

dat great big ole scoundrel beast up dere ,he spea"er is referring to a picture of an enormous dinosaur on a billboard advertising the Sinclair <il 9ompany. A dinosaur was the logo of Sinclair and was prominently displayed at their filling stations. 2n all li"elihood, the men do not "now it is a dinosaur. %aisy is walking a drum tune ,he drum is the "ey percussion instrument in a musical group. 2t sets the tempo. Daisy is wal"ing with the stylish snap of a precision solo drummer;and she "nows itE a 1studied 2ury3 1ducational resources were limited for this community, and there were very few men with college degrees in law or medicine;or even the ministry. 2n $ules and $en, *urston has a character say, 85ou see when Ah was studyin3 doctor . . .: !hereas a man or woman might get a 8call: to the ministry, the path to informal law or medicine was self-study or perhaps apprenticeship with a practitioner.

Sam 4atson, youse mah fish a good catch;not an empty hoo" for the fisherman or woman. /oe plans to beat Sam at chec"ers;that is catch him li"e a fish on his hoo".

celebration funerals and wa"es often become festive affairs when family and friends gather, not only for the burial but also for a celebration of the life of the deceased. set for still bait the fish to grab. a term for fishing, meaning that the bait is easy for

Chapter Seven #hen too she considered thirty!five is twice seventeen /anie has grown older and is more experienced than when )anny married her off to -ogan >illic"s. She reali6es how much of her life has passed. Accurate addition isn3t important, the passage of time is. 5all really playin de do(ens tuhnight trading insults, usually in a predictable way, but the insults are based on exaggeration of personal traits and involve derogatory statements about members of each other3s family;often, someone3s mother. #he thing that Sauls daughter had done to %avid 2n 2 Samuel $FG$H, Saul has two daughters, Merab and Michal. Saul gave Michal to David, and she saved his life. Saul was immensely +ealous of David because of his youth, beauty, intelligence, and potential power. Saul wanted to "ill him, but Michal foiled the plot.

like a pack of chessy cats ,he reference is to the 9heshire 9at in Alice in 2onderland, who had an all-"nowing smile. *ere, /anie is saying that all of her gentlemen callers have smug, too-confident grins on their faces.

Chapter Ten kitchen matches ,hese were a type of common household matches made for years by, among others, the <hio Match 9ompany. ,hey were about two-and-a-half to three inches long and were sold in a box, the side of which contained a strip of abrasive-li"e fine sandpaper. ,he abrasive contained the chemicals needed to ignite the match when it was bris"ly scraped across the surface. Before electric stoves and gas stoves with the automatic pilot lights, no "itchen was complete without a box of these matches. Many campers still include them in their e uipment. cold!cocked her a look loo"ed her straight in the eyes.

Chapter Eight 4ell, if she must eat out of a long!handled spoon, she must A long-handled spoon has a long history in the 1nglish language. 9haucer uses it in !he "Buire(s !ale# 8,herfore bihooeth hire ful loong spoonI,hat shall ete with a feend.: 2t also occurs in Sha"espeare3s Aomedy of 3rrors# 8*e must have a long spoon that must eat with the devil.J /oe has become almost evil in his illness, and /anie must treat him with all caution;with a long-handled spoon, something that she would use if she were to dine with the devil. 7eferences to a long-handled spoon are treated in most standard boo"s of uotations. de big fuss in de store dat 6oe was .fixed and you wu( de one dat did it *ere again, the busybodies are at wor", suggesting that /anie has put some sort of spell on /oe. /oe is terminally ill, and the people do not understand the illness. 2t is much easier for them to accuse /anie of putting a voodoo spell on /oe to hasten his death than it is for them to understand that /oe3s condition is helpless. "h been feelin dat somethin set for still!bait 2n other words, she is saying that she3s feeling li"e she3s the target of the community disapproval, li"e a bait on a hoo" that can3t move or wriggle as a worm might do. 'ast summer dat multiplied cock!roach wu( round heah tryin tuh sell gophers /anie and ?heoby have no time for the charlatan, the 8two-headed: doctor, the scheming, self-serving uac". )ote the hyperbole 8multiplied coc"-roach.: )ote also that 8gopher: could be a mispronunciation of 8goopher,: a well-"nown con+ure mixture. 2t is usually an herb-root mixture alleged to have great power to do whatever the two-headed doctor said it would do. Hed be all right 2ust as soon as the two!headed man found what had been buried against him *urston discusses this phrase of con+ure in $ules and $en) 2f indeed /anie has 8fixed: /oe, then the con+ure man has to find out what the 8fix: is and where it is buried. *is next tas" would be to concoct something that would counteract the 8fix.: All of this was done for a fee, of course, preferably paid in advance. Chapter Nine gold and red and purple, the gloat and glamor of secret orders /oe evidently belonged to several lodges or fraternal orders, and each one has a different ritual to be performed when a member dies. *urston mentions the 1l"s CB?<1' band that plays at /oe3s funeral.

%ixie Highway B.S. *ighway $, the ma+or Maine-to-Florida highway in the old B.S. highway system. "h done cut a hawg 23ve made a mista"e. ,ea 9a"e thin"s that perhaps he has said something he shouldn3t have said. Chapter Eleven 5ou got me in de go long opening for a proposal of marriage. /anie has captivated ,ea 9a"e, and he will 8go long: through life with her. run our conversation from grassroots to pine trees !e3ve gone as far as we can go with this conversation;from minor matters to larger issues. *urston has used other expressions li"e this to indicate limits and extremes in conversations. %e big Sunday School picnic ,he Sunday School picnic that too" place on a spring or summer day was often the biggest social event in a small community li"e 1atonville.

Chapter Twelve sense her into things Sam !atson wants ?heoby to tal" some common sense into /anie. class off act better than other people, show off.

He aint got uh dime tuh cry ,he townspeople are sure that ,ea 9a"e has no money. /anie, however, "nows he wor"s and always pays their way. Chapter Thirteen two hundred dollars inside her shirt /anie is following some basic wisdom shared by wise women# Always have enough money on hand for your fare home;no matter who your date is. twelve oclock whistle /ac"sonville is a railroad town, and railroad shops usually had loud whistles that sounded at regular times during the day. pink silk vest /anie3s 8vest,: or undershirt, is made of sil". 9hances are that most of the women in 1atonville wore cotton underclothes.

round house a circular house building, with a turntable in the center, used for storing and repairing locomotives. Chapter Fourteen pickin my box playing my guitar.

money and insurance papers ,his is further evidence that ,ea 9a"e is a responsible man, even though he ignores the storm warnings and will be stubborn about not seeing a doctor.

dyke . . . *ndians *urston has inserted two seemingly insignificant details here which she will later use for dramatic effect when the hurricane stri"es. ,ea 9a"e and /anie live very close to the la"e, and they will see 2ndians leaving as the storm approaches;yet they choose to ignore the wisdom of these local people. 2ook flivver bar a small, cheap automobile, especially an old one.

Chapter Nineteen #ryin not to keep you outa yo comfortable no longern you wanted to stay 2n other words, 2 don3t want to "eep you here in this uncomfortable place any longer than you want to stay. 1arlier in the novel, ,ea 9a"e wanted to comb /anie3s hair, and she referred to it as her 8comfortable,: not his. 89omfortable: would be a uni ue personal possession. &ive it uh poor mans trial A poor man ta"es any respectable +ob he can get and does his best with it. uh common trial similar to the definition above. /ust to be wor"ing, ,ea 9a"e will ta"e any +ob available. de 6im )row law ,hese are laws associated with traditional discrimination against or segregation of blac"s, especially in the Bnited States. trouble and compellment ,ea 9a"e is troubled by the white guards forcing him;compelling him;to help bury the dead. motherless chile ,ea 9a"e is out of his element. *e feels as though he doesn3t belong to anyone, li"e a child in slavery sold away from its mother. ,he song 8Sometimes 2 Feel -i"e a Motherless 9hild: is often included in collections of spirituals. Six months behind de 7nited States privy house at hard smellin ,he reference is to a privy, a toilet, especially an outhouse, which has a thoroughly obnoxious smell if it hasn3t been properly maintained. ,his is ,ea 9a"e3s metaphor for being tossed into a federal +ail and put to hard wor". bucked each other $uart of coon!dick beat andIor challenged each other. cheap moonshine or bootleg whis"ey.

sit in the doorway *urston does not even suggest that the migrants go into /anie3s house. black!eyed peas and rice ,his combination is "nown as 8*oppin3 /ohn.: 2t is a staple with a long history in Southern coo"ing. Chapter Fifteen snappish cross or irritable, uncivil4 sharp-tongued.

%ont keer how big uh lie get told, somebody kin blieve it ,ea 9a"e believes that the si6e of a lie has nothing to do with whether some people will believe it. Chapter Sixteen 0ahaman drummers *urston wor"ed with Bahaman musicians in one of her theatrical efforts, and she used some of their nic"names for the characters in this novel. Saws another name for Bahamans. meriny skin color. li"e browned-egg-white meringue4 a complexion

a vanishing!looking kind of man Mr. ,urner3s presence is so insignificant that he seems about to vanish. Chapter Seventeen peart lively, chipper, sprightly, smart, and so on. Chapter Eighteen laden loaded4 burdened or afflicted.

lap!legged brother a suggestion that Mrs. ,urner3s brother3s legs are malformed and not straight;clearly, an insult. watchin de 2ob watching and waiting for ,ea 9a"e to die.

stolid having or showing little or no emotion or sensitivity4 unexcitable4 impassive.

relic /anie is the relic, or the person who has survived, from their marriage. ,he word could also be an echo of the <ld 1nglish term relict, which means surviving the death of another.

Journal Response Their Eyes Were Watching God


Respond to one of the following prompts in detail while utilizing support properly. 1. 2. 3. 2iscuss the importance of duality in the early chapters of the novel) -ow does duality tie in the other ma3or themes of !yes" naly4e the impact of diction on the ma3or themes in the novel) 2iscuss the role of tradition in the novel" as well as its impact on the characters" ma3or and minor" in !yes#

Group Journal Responses - Their Eyes Were Watching God


In your groups, formulate a response to the following points for class discussion. Group 1: Group 2: Group 3: Group 4: Group : Group !: 2iscuss the symbolism of the pear tree and its importance to the novel) Janie is undergoing a 3ourney of sorts in the novel) 2iscuss this concept in light of the heroic 3ourney and the steps involved) $%, a%& $ m colored&' (page )*# 2iscuss this 5uote and its importance to Janie$s search for identity in the novel) 2iscuss the relationships and character dynamics found in Janie$s first two marriages) 6hat do these men bring to +or take from, Janie$s life0 !earch for metaphors and similes in the first seven chapters) 2iscuss the importance of these devices" as well as why -urston uses this particular techni5ue in these places) 2iscuss the issue of voice in these chapters" particularly as pertains to Janie and -urston herself)

Their Eyes Were Watching od, 9ommentary K$ ,herefore /anie dran" her coffee and san"led on bac" to her room without as"ing her landlady anything. ,ea 9a"e must be hunting all over the city for that fish. She "ept that thought in front of her in order not to thin" too much. !hen she heard the twelve o3cloc" whistle she decided to get up and dress. ,hat was when she found out her two hundred dollars was gone. ,here was the little cloth purse with the safety pin on the chair beneath her clothes and the money +ust wasn3t nowhere in the room. She "new from the beginning that the money wasn3t any place she "new of if it wasn3t in that little poc"et boo" pinned to her pin" sil" vest. But the exercise of searching the room "ept her busy and that was good for her to "eep moving, even though she wasn3t doing anything but turning around in her trac"s. But, don3t care how firm your determination is, you can3t "eep turning around in one place li"e a horse grinding sugar cane. So /anie too" to sitting over the room. Sit and loo". ,he room inside loo"ed li"e the mouth of an alligator G gaped wide open to swallow something down. <utside the window /ac"sonville loo"ed li"e it needed a fence around it to "eep it from running out on ether3s bosom. 2t was too big to be warm, let alone to need somebody li"e her. All day and night she worried time li"e a bone. !ay late in the morning the thought of Annie ,yler and !ho Flung came to pay her a visit. Annie ,yler who at fifty-two had been left a widow with a good home and insurance money. Mrs. ,yler with her dyed hair, newly straightened and her uncomfortable false teeth, her leathery s"in, blotchy with powder and her giggle. *er love affairs, affairs with boys in their late teens or early twenties for all of whom she spent her money on suits of clothes, shoes, watches and things li"e that and how they all left her as soon as their wants were satisfied. ,hen when her ready cash was gone, had come !ho Flung to denounce his predecessor as a scoundrel and too" up around the house himself. 2t was he who persuaded her to sell her house and come to ,ampa with him. ,he town had seen her limp off. ,he undersi6ed high-heel slippers were punishing her tired feet that loo"ed li"e bunions all over. *er body s uee6ed and crowded into a tight corset that shoved her middle up under her chin. But she had gone off laughing and sure. As sure as /anie had been. ,hen two wee"s later the porter and conductor of the north bound local had helped her off the train at Maitland. *air all gray and blac" and bluish and reddish in strea"s. All the capers that cheap dye could cut was showing in her hair. ,hose slippers bent and griped +ust li"e her wor"-worn feet. ,he corset gone and the sha"ing old woman hanging all over herself. 1verything that you could see was hanging. *er chin hung from her ears and rippled down her nec" li"e drapes. *er hanging bosom and stomach and buttoc"s and legs that draped down over her an"les. She groaned but never giggled.

uiding !uestions"

Spea# to the diction in the passage$

%ear in &ind the earlier events and relationships experienced 'y (anie in this novel and spea# to the characteri)ation revealed 'y this passage$

Their Eyes Were Watching od, 9ommentary K@ So /oe Star"s and his cigar too" the center of the floor. 8Ah than"s you all for yo3 "ind welcome and for extendin3 tuh me de right hand uh fellowship. Ah "in see dat dis town in full uh union and love. Ah means tuh put mah hands tuh de plow heah, and strain every nerve tuh ma"e dis our town de metropolis uh de state. So maybe Ah better tell yuh in case you don3t "now dat if we expect tuh move on, us got tuh incorporate la" every other town. Bs got tuh incorporate, and us got tuh have uh mayor, if things is tuh be done and done right. Ah welcome you on behalf uh me and mah wife tuh dis store and tuh de other things tuh come. Amen.: ,ony led the loud hand-clapping and was out in the center of the floor when it stopped. 8Brothers and sisters, since us can3t never expect tuh better our choice, Ah move dat we ma"e Brother Star"s our Mayor until we "in see further.: 8Second dat motionEEE: 2t was everybody tal"ing at once, so it was no need of putting it to a vote. 8And now we3ll listen tuh uh few words uh encouragement from Mrs. Mayor Star"s.: ,he burst of applause was cut short by /oe ta"ing the floor himself. 8,han" yuh fuh yo3 compliments, but mah wife don3t "now nothin3 Lbout no speech-ma"in3. Ah never married her for nothin3 la" dat. She3s uh woman and her place is in de home.: /anie made her face laugh after a short pause, but it wasn3t too easy. She had never thought of ma"ing a speech, and didn3t "now if she cared to ma"e one at all. 2t must have been the way /oe spo"e out without giving her a chance to say anything one way or the other that too" the bloom off of things. But anyway, she went down the road behind him that night feeling cold. *e strode along invested with his new dignity, thought and planned out loud, unconscious of her thoughts.

(ower(oint (resentation
Their Eyes Were Watching God
In small groups "3 or 4 people#, create a $ower$oint presentation that addresses:

how different clothing signifies Janie.s stages in her 5uest for self and identity) how each house represents7reflects a different stage in Janie.s search75uest for her identity) how the images of fertility correspond with Janie.s inward growth and desire) how other characters% perception of marriage affects and compares to Janie.s perception of love" marriage" and self) how each hus&and shapes" changes" encourages" or stifles Janie as she searches for her voice7self)

Slide Layout:

8e creative illustrate your points with scanned photos and images" clip art" music" video" etc) o 9se your transitions and slide animations when necessary +but don$t overdo it:, ;emember" this is a visual aide don$t put up pages and pages of te*t: use bullet points and short phrases that you will elaborate upon with discussion

Handouts: +'iles are in <icrosoft 6ord format,

(rovide handouts for the class on the following topics: o general outline and overview o Janie$s perceptions of marriage and relationships7how husbands shape this perspective

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'())G $ower$oint Ru&ric

Group *em&ers:

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) Knowledge and depth of understanding &omments: ====================================================================

============================================================================== 8) Spea ing with clarity &omments: ==================================================================== ============================================================================== &) !reati"ity# $ower$oint $resentation &omments: ==================================================================== ====== 7>? ====== 7>?

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Total $oints: ''''''''' ()*