Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Book - 2006
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A novel about black Americans in Florida that centers on the life of Janie and her three marriages.
Publisher: New York : Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006
Edition: 1st Harper Perennial Modern Classics ed
ISBN: 9780061120060
0061120065
9780756964337
0756964334
9781428704848
1428704841
9780060838676
0060838671
Branch Call Number: HURSTON Z
PS3515.U789 T5 2006x
Characteristics: xviii, 219, 16 p. ; 20 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

When Janie, at sixteen, is caught kissing shiftless Johnny Taylor, her grandmother swiftly marries her off to an old man with sixty acres. Janie endures two stifling marriages before meeting the man of her dreams, who offers not diamonds, but a packet of flowering seeds ...

'For me, "Their ... Read More »

In depicting one of the first strong black women of 20th-century literature, Hurston's story of Janie Crawford pulls the reader into a timeless world of love, struggle, and self-exploration.


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mko123 Oct 11, 2017

A love story about a woman who dares to be unabashedly herself. Against all odds, she remains a strong feminist way before her time yet is able to put her own life on the line for love. She is not swayed by her first rich husband who "big-bellies 'round and worships the things of his hands." She settles for nothing less then what her heart demands. Glorious storytelling in a folklore-laden culture of the deep south. MKO

n
njon38
Jan 07, 2017

A book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes were Watching God was published in 1937. Written in the African American dialect of the deep south it recounts the spiritual journey of Janie Mae Crawford, the granddaughter of a former slave, to find a place for herself in the world. Louise Gates Jr. writes that the book is about "the project of finding a voice, with language as an instrument of injury and salvation, of selfhood and empowerment.” It is a strongly feminist voice.

j
Jwalker_11
Aug 31, 2016

I know I am supposed to like this book, but I did not. It was boring and depressing.

k
KeenaL
Aug 29, 2016

This was hard for me to read at first, but once it got to the good part, I couldn't stop. This story blew me away.

j
julia_sedai
Jul 14, 2016

Pretty amazing book, but hard to read sometimes. I found I got used to it when I would read for a longer period of time. It's very interesting, about something I have never really read about before - the black community in the early 30s in first Eatonville, then the Everglades in Florida. I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in some U.S. history and looking for a strong female lead.

m
mccannxgrande
Jun 24, 2016

i really liked this book, but at times it was difficult to understand.

s
seaxfamx
May 02, 2016

A wonderful, powerful story. It is one of only a few books that I've ever read and wanted to read again right away. The foreword and afterword provide important background and context, especially if you don't know about Hurston.

m
munroa15
Mar 14, 2016

Tore through this book! I just couldn't put it down!

w
wyenotgo
Aug 03, 2015

How to rate this book? On the basis of the writing quality alone, it should rate five stars. Just read the first page and you will be swept away by Hurston's magnificent prose:
"The sun was gone but he had left his footprints in the sky. It was the time for sitting on porches beside the road. It was the time to hear things and talk. These sitters had been tongueless, earless, eyeless conveniences all day long. Mules and other brutes had occupied their skins. But now, the sun and bossman were gone, so the skins felt powerful and human. They became lords of sounds and lesser things. They passed nations through their mouths. They sat in judgment."
Wow!
Beyond this, Hurston is able to write with two entirely different voices and glide seamlessly from one to the other, even within a single phrase. A supremely gifted writer, sure of her subject.
But it's with her other voice that I encountered some difficulty; not that her use of the vernacular of the black, deep south characters was less than authentic. Rather that at times she became too enraptured with their banality and nonsense, their tendency to attack and belittle to bolster their own self-esteem. The tiresome, trivial episode of Matt Bonner's yellow mule is a case in point; it just goes on and on for the better part of a chapter. I'm reminded of a comment that someone made about Mark Twain, that he became so much in love with his character, Tom Sawyer that he allowed his character to get away with far too much. Self-discipline is a necessary part of the creative process. I felt that permitting her characters to misbehave as she did was a form of self-indulgence on Hurston's part. I applaud her authenticity and yet I felt that she could have made her point equally well in far fewer words. Hence, four stars rather than five. Perhaps I'm showing some prejudice -- or just being picky.

n
Nymeria23
Mar 12, 2015

Janie is just a girl looking for the perfect love. And she finds it after 20 years and two husbands have gone by. Now she can live the life she wants, the one that brings her the most joy.

I thought this book was very interesting, showing how life was back in the early generations after slavery ended, and what the black community was like. Janie's journey was well crafted, with plenty of stylistic elements to be found among the novel. The dialog was very authentic-feeling, though it did make the book much harder to read. Sad ending to the story but it leaves off with a note of hope for the future. All the characters played a part, some more than others, but they swirled around Janie, filling her life with feeling and emotions that were expressed in this book. Good read overall, and a good class read choice.

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ianwilliams_0
Jun 21, 2014

ianwilliams_0 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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