Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God Theme of Pride
Two types of pride are present in this novel – a negative interpretation that has the connotations of hubris and conceit, and a positive version as dignity. Hubris is often linked to unfounded high esteem of one’s masculinity. Another kind of excessive pride defies or ignores divine law and incites God’s vindictive wrath. Often, pride can lead to wrongdoings which are then recognized and regretted.
Questions About Pride
- How are Joe’s and Tea Cake’s pride fundamentally different? Are both men punished for their excessive pride? Do their respective punishments seem to match the intensity of their crime?
- Was Logan right about Janie having too much pride? What does Janie take pride in?
- Is Janie too proud to associate with the gossipy women in Eatonville? Is it her pride that keeps Janie from telling her story to them, is that why she asks Pheoby to do it?
Chew on This
Pride is directly linked to masculinity in this novel.
Pride is not directly linked to gender, but seems to gravitate towards the powerful; this proves that women – like Janie and Mrs. Turner – briefly occupy positions of power in their society.