In: English and Literature

Submitted By luckyerin548
Words 303
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Through the use of colloquial dialect, syntax, and descriptive figurative language, Zora Neal Hurston beings to create the townspeople as a judgmental, jealous mass in her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. The old, stereotypical, Southern Black accent is prevalent throughout the novel, allowing the reader to see the speakers as uneducated laborers. Their judgmental rhetorical questions relate their feelings of jealousy towards Janie, asking what a “forty year ole ‘oman doin’ wid her hair swingin’ down her back lak some young gal”(1) and other probing questions, silently comparing themselves to and judging her. Yet these “uneducated laborers”, as they are so flawlessly portrayed, take the low road themselves, silently seething with jealousy. The townspeople, blinded by the main character’s beauty, are confused, fragmented sentences blundering foolishly from their tongues. They all seem to think “[Janie] was going to marry” and her husband “[runs] off wid some young gal so young she ain’t even got no hairs”(2), wondering about Janie’s life, so much more interesting than their labor-monkey lives. The townspeople, who make the transition to the “porch” are lumped together. At first described as monkeys on the “bander log”(2), the porch’s organs of judgment are taken away, Janie’s consideration of them as “tongueless, earless, eyeless conveniences”(1) are synecdochal humiliations and degradations, lumping them together once more. The porch’s “killing tools” of laughs are only a minor part of their bullying arsenal. Much like a middle school bully stealing lunch money, their joy from the kill is compared to “harmony in a song”(2). Janie, though a headstrong, independent woman, can only take so many punches. The porch/townspeople/conveniences are only a jealous mass held together by their similar dialect, fragmented thoughts and outward disparity towards someone…...

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