Hurston's Use Of Ebonics In Their Eyes Were Watching God

2039 Words 9 Pages
The persistence of Ebonics defies the intentions behind the dehumanization of African people. Furthermore, the use of Ebonics in literature highlights this defiance and persistence. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston paints the picture of displaced descendants of enslaved Africans lacking their native tongue in the color of their innovative vibrant language (Ebonics). In her use of Ebonics, Hurston promotes the value of African American language while adequately displaying the complexity of African American cultural. In doing so, Hurston exerts intimacy (to be interpreted by the reader) throughout the story, narration, and dialogue of her characters and highlights the uniqueness of Black fiction. In order to effectively argue the essentialness …show more content…
However, it seems that Hurston’s use of Ebonics did just the contrary. Hurston’s use of Ebonics uplifted and promoted the value of the language among society. After Hurston, many of her contemporaries such as Alex Walker, began to use Ebonics for their literary advantage when constructing novels, poems, short stories, etc. (Glen, 87). Hurston’s use of Ebonics in literature enables readers of both White and Black America to encounter Ebonics outside of the Black “ghettoes” and the negative perceptions that surround it. The use of Ebonics in literature allows readers to be drawn into the amazing language of resilient people. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Ebonics is the language of not simply what is viewed by many as an inferior, dehumanized race; but of a group of pioneers who are adventurous, ambitious, and innovative in their own right. It is interesting to note that in Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston does not attach the African American language to a group of people who are merely descendants of enslaved Africans, wandering the poverty coated chains of post-reconstruction. The community of Eatonville does not embody the poor thoughts that are attached to the negative stereotypes of African Americans. Despite the …show more content…
Janie’s character is one that can be relatable among many races and cultures. However, outside of Janie’s background it is her voice that attaches her directly to the black community. In her rich character development of Janie Starks, Hurston uses a feature of Ebonics that stems from the Africanness of Ebonics: oral tradition. The novel Their Eyes Were Watching God revolves around Janie’s effective use of oral tradition and storytelling. Through Janie Starks and many other characters, Hurston celebrates the oral tradition that African American has culturally

Related Documents