Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston Essay

1756 Words Sep 13th, 2015 8 Pages
As an English teacher, my research topic develops a comprehensive understanding of Zora Neale Hurston’s protagonist, Janie Crawford, in Their Eyes Were Watching God. I am also interested in addressing Janie’s role as a feminist despite her outward acceptance of societal norms and her personal desire for a loving husband. My examination of literature emerges through an awareness of the historical context of the work, which provides insight into the author’s personal experience, politics, cultural and ethnic background. My research establishes a profound understanding of the text, which, in turn, will help me facilitate my students’ critical thinking of the text.
In her article, “Seeking confirmation of the Voice and Visions: The struggle for Janie’s Soul in Their Eyes Were Watching God”, LuElla Putnam posits Zora Neale Hurston’s protagonist, Janie Crawford, is a feminist heroine who sheds “racial and patriarchal oppression” to find her own true desires. (13) The author challenges the traditional and static interpretation of Janie as the protagonist in Hurston’s narrative; instead, the author views Janie as a complex feminist protagonist. Putnam’s understanding of Janie as a feminist is important to develop a greater appreciation for Hurston’s work and to cement her place in the Harlem Renaissance period and American literature. Putnam presents her case using qualitative research. She relies on Hurston’s novel as her primary source and refers to secondary sources to…

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