Zora Neale Hurston Individualism

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America has overcome much adversity throughout her history, but continues to battle issues such as racism and prejudice; the beginnings of these challenges date back to the birth of the country. Deeply rooted, racism has greatly influenced black writers to speak out and convey to readers that many of the struggles endured by blacks are not strictly due to the color of their skin, but are faced by people of all colors. Zora Neale Hurston, a black writer of the early 1900’s, addresses the experiences (good and bad) that people of color face throughout her work—greatly influencing writers to come. Hurston’s individualism all through her career inspires people to think freely and resist distasteful external influences in order to learn to love …show more content…
She grew up in Eatonville, Florida—the “first self-governed, all-black city in America” (“Zora Neale Hurston” 1). Not only did wholly black surroundings shape Hurston’s racial views, but the stigma that blacks in America acquired directly guided her writing, specifically in her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. In order to prepare her for the effects of this stigma, Hurston’s father’s “words to his daughter were cautionary: the rest of the world was not like Eatonville” (“Zora Neale Hurston” 2). The well-respected reverend was implying that America outside of the content, colored town of Eatonville was not at all fully accepting of blacks. This preparation allowed young Zora to channel the negativity into her …show more content…
Throughout the story, Hurston explores themes of self-admiration and the imperfections of love. Early in her career, Zora Neale Hurston collaborated with writer Langston Hughes to “create a work that would undo a century of racist representations of black people” (“Zora Neale Hurston” 4). Their lack of fears in writing allowed for an authentic dialogue in their play Mule Bone: A Comedy of Negro Life. Further in her career, Hurston continued her bona fide writing style in Their Eyes Were Watching God while explaining the importance of self-worth. After enduring many hardships, protagonist (Janie) elucidates that there are “two things everybody’s got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find about living fuh theyselves” (Hurston 168). This realization allows Janie to become more content with her relationships—especially that of Tea Cake, who “explicitly resides [Janie]… of her ability to love herself” (Bealer 10). Not only does Hurston provide a way for readers to understand the gravity of self-respect, but she “depict[s] [African American] life and culture in relation to…racially and economically motivated oppression” (Bealer 1), as well as showing that not every trial faced by a black person is due to their being

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