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Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God


by Zora Neale Hurston

Their Eyes Were Watching God Theme of Pride

Two types of pride are present in Their Eyes Were Watching God—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 wrongdoing that is then recognized and regretted. Watch out; pride goeth before a fall.

Questions About Pride

  1. How is 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 crimes?
  2. Was Logan right about Janie having too much pride? What does Janie take pride in?
  3. 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, and is that why she asks Pheoby to do it?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Pride is directly linked to masculinity in this novel.

Pride is not directly linked to gender but seems to gravitate toward the powerful. This proves that women—like Janie and Mrs. Turner—briefly occupy positions of power in their society.

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