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Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God


by Zora Neale Hurston

Analysis: Allusions

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literature, Philosophy, and Mythology

Bible: Archangel Michael from Rev. 12:7-8 – "angel wid de sword" (2.52); Isaac and Rebecca from Gen. 24 – "at the well" (5.98); St. Paul (6.148); Methusalem from Gen. 5:27 – "old as Methusalem" (7.12); Saul, David (7.27); St. Peter – "walkin’ de water lak ole Peter" (11.17)
Lewis Carroll: Alice in Wonderland – "grinning…like a pack of chessy [Cheshire] cats" (9.7)
Dante: Inferno – "the ninth darkness where light has never been" (11.83)

Historical References

Civil War, slavery (2.56)
General Sherman (2.58)
Eatonville, Florida – first all-black American community (5.35)
George Washington (6.60)
Abraham Lincoln (6.60)
Booker T. Washington (16.22-27)

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