Their Eyes Were Watching God Part 9: A Radical Story
Zora Neale Hurston always exposed the truth regardless of the consequences. There are a lot of little kids still crying over Santa Claus not being real because of Zora. Watch the video to learn more about Hurston the radical, and killer of yuletide dreams everywhere.
|Literature||Their Eyes Were Watching God|
from other writers of the time,
and how was she perceived?
In this case, things are extreme
in a lot of ways, in that
she's so isolated and so mistreated
in a lot of different ways.
And is so sensitive as a human being
feeling all of this with this great survival instinct, and so on.
That feels like that was
kind of radical in the day for
a woman who was born 50 years after slavery
was outlawed? Something like that?
Absolutely. And, actually, Zora Neale Hurston
was very radical. She did follow -- She was part of the Harlem Renaissance
idea of kind of individualistic expression.
But she really went her own way.
She wasn't celebrating Black culture the same way
that these other Harlem Renaissance writers were.
She was trying to depict,
like you said, the realities
and the emotions of a young woman growing up
basically just after slavery had ended.
And it's for that reason that she
completely went into oblivion for a while.
So Zora Neale Hurston was writing in the 20s and 30s,
and then for decades after that,
no one read her work. We barely even knew she existed, because
authors like Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison
didn't like what she'd done.
They didn't like her work.
They thought that she was writing these showcase-y
pieces for a white audience.
And so she fell into oblivion.
And it wasn't until the 1970s,
when Alice Walker rediscovered her and kind of promoted her
that she came back and became this canonical author.
[ pen writing ]
Why was Their Eyes Were Watching God a radical story
when it was first published?
What was Hurston's attitude toward African-American culture?
Check it out, memorize it, tattoo it.
Actually don't tattoo it. That's kind of nasty.