In the book Their Eyes Were Watching God , it was talked about by white critics as an image of southern blacks. The African-Americans analyst rejected the novel due to its stereotypes of blacks as “happy-go-lucky and ignorant” people and soon became forgotten. However, in the last twenty years it has received the attention and the praise it deserves by scholars and is consistently appeared in college courses across the country(Telgen 300).What most people don’t see is the best use of Figurative language, diction, and imagery to tell a story. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston includes diction and figurative language to understand the culture and language.Zora Neale Hurston’s had a colorful life with a mixture of criticism and applause as she dealt with poverty,shame, and pride.
She started from the bottom really but then she rose up with not much help from people. She grew up in the first all black town called Eatonville,Florida, where her father was the mayor but she wasn’t aware of the prejudgment African-Americans faced in other parts of the US. Hurston as a independent African American she became one of the most fascinating writers America has ever known. At age fourteen she went out and got a job as a maid working for a white families.The white families helped her for something most African Americans didn’t have the opportunity to get help on, education, she was sent to Morgan Academy in Baltimore to get a education. Then she started going to more highly educated schools like Harvard university, Barnard College, and Columbia University where she began to work on her Ph.
D in anthropology. In 1921 she published her first story where she quickly began to get recognized by writers from the Harlem Renaissance. She then joined Harlem 1925 and soon she became one the most well-known literary writers at the time,she acquired attention by a rich white women who agreed to fund her folklores.
Her career as novelist took off as her first novel became a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. She wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God, but this novel did not get much attention as it faded from the limelight.She kept writing novels and stories but became irrelevant in the 40’s and 50’s due to getting charged with a immoral act.
Hurston then was forced to live a normal life in Florida where she worked various jobs. Hurston had a stroke in 1959 and died alone in 1960(Telgan,301).In this novel, Hurston uses metaphors as one of her figurative language so that readers can understand her writing. One of the examples “Ah wanted yuh to school out and pick from a higher bush and a sweeter berry.”(Page 13) This shows how Nanny wants Janie to find a rich guy that can support her and marry her not someone like logan who will treat her bad. Another example “Oh to be a pear tree-any tree in bloom!”(Page 11) Its telling us the readers that the story will be based on Janie goals and her recognition. The last example “Put me down easy, Janie,Ah’m a cracked plate.
“(Page 20) Comparing Janie to the plate how fragile she is and how Nanny wanted the best for Janie and would do anything for her. I think that metaphors in books are to show a reader a strong connection between the character and what they are talking about.