Their Eyes Were Watching God Part 8: Flashbacks
Janie doesn’t let gossip rule her life. Instead, she counteracts it by telling her own story. Hang on...that’s juicy. We need to tell somebody about this right away.
|Literature||Their Eyes Were Watching God|
in the past. So we know she lives.
She wasn't killed, because she couldn't relate it if she didn't.
And it changes the vibe of the story,
given that she's kind of speaking about her past.
It's a different kind of tension.
Flashbacks on their own a lot of times
take away a lot of drama but they add a lot of mythology almost.
[ buzzing ]
Storytelling is at the heart of all of this,
and Janie is the one
telling her story.
She's gone out into the world,
experienced what she's gonna experience,
and has come back and is reflecting on it.
And that is a microcosm of the entire novel,
because that is really
what's happening throughout this whole novel
is that people are telling stories.
When Janie comes back,
the community starts telling stories
about her. They're gossiping about her
and kind of talking about her.
Phoebe's trying to defend her, and so on.
So it shows that Janie, in the midst of all of this talk
and this storytelling and everyone else's voices,
is able to have her own and tell her own story.
This is, again, symbolic of the Harlem Renaissance
where this Black community in Harlem came together
and had this rebirth of culture where they were able to say,
"No, we're gonna tell our story.
The story of slavery and oppression
isn't the story. We're gonna tell the story."
And kind of trying to come out of that.
[ pen writing ]
Why does Hurston have Janie tell her story through a flashback?
How were people in the Harlem Renaissance treating their own history?