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Historical context[ edit ] Racial Climate in the Early s[ edit ] With legislation like the Jim Crow lawsenacted from tomany African-Americans were disfranchised.
Groups like the Ku Klux Klan terrorized black citizens, leading to the steady decline of African-American political representation. Baptist preacher Thomas Dixon, Jr. The book was so popular that Dixon wrote a trilogy.
His second novel, The Clansmanwas adapted for the silent film The Birth of a Nationportraying African-American men in an unintelligent, sexually aggressive light The renaissance was meant to be a liberating response to the restrictive standards of the Racial Uplift program, encouraging writers and artists to expose racist oppression in American society.
In an essay by Nick Aaron Ford, Hurston is quoted to have to Janie and tea cake essay, "Many Negroes criticise my book, because I did not make it a lecture on the race problem. I am interested in you now, not as a Negro man but as a man.
I am not interested in the race problem, but I am interested in the problems of individuals, white ones and black ones.
Hurston viewed her work as distinct from the work of fellow Harlem Renaissance writers she described as the "sobbing school of Negrohood" that portrayed the lives of black people as constantly miserable, downtrodden and deprived.
Completely rejecting the Uplift agenda, the magazine also included homoerotic work as well as portrayals of prostitution. Readers receive the story of her life in three major periods corresponding to her marriages to three very different men.
Nanny is an elderly woman who, as a slave, was raped by her owner and gave birth to a mixed-race daughter Leafy. Nanny escaped from her jealous mistress and found a good home after the end of the American Civil War. Nanny tried to create a good life for her daughter, but Leafy was raped by her school teacher and became pregnant with Janie.
Eventually, she ran away, leaving her daughter Janie with Nanny. Although Janie is not interested in either Logan or marriage, her grandmother wants her to have the stability she never had; legal marriage to Killicks, Nanny believes, will give Janie opportunities.
Nanny feels that Janie will be unable to take care of herself, so she must marry a man who will take care of her. However, Killicks wants a domestic helper rather than a lover or partner; he thinks Janie does not do enough around the farm and that she is ungrateful.
Janie speaks to Nanny about how she feels, but Nanny, too, accuses her of being spoiled. Soon afterward, Nanny dies. Unhappy, disillusioned, and lonely, Janie chooses to leave Killicks and runs off with the glib Jody Joe Starks, who takes her to EatonvilleFlorida.
Finding the small town residents unambitious, Starks arranges to buy more land, establishes a general store which he has built by local residents, and is soon elected as mayor of the town.
Janie soon realises that Starks wants her as a trophy wifeto reinforce his powerful position in town. He treats her as his property, controlling what she wears and says, and criticizes her mistakes.
He also begins to strike her occasionally. As time passes, he teases her in public about being old, even though she is only in her thirties.
Eventually, she cannot bear it and snaps back at Joe to look at himself. Starks hits her as hard as he can. Later, he gets sick, and refuses to let Janie see him.
He does not realize that he has a failing kidney, a likely fatal illness. When Janie learns that he might die, she goes to talk to him. She tells him who she really is and says that he never knew because he would not let her be free.
After Starks dies, Janie becomes financially independent through his estate.I read this masterpiece for the first time in high school.
The love story of Janie and Tea Cake is one of stupendous beauty. Zora Neal Hurston's text is a treasure: "So she went on thinking in soft, easy phrases while all around the house, the night time put on flesh and blackness." Early in life. After having two failed marriages, Janie meets Tea Cake, a suave, charming younger man who truly loves Janie.
By exposing Janie to the world, and providing her with experiences and memories, Tea Cake directs her to the ‘horizon,’ where she can lead a fulfilling life. The Harlem Renaissance of the ’s is a great time for black artists; it is a rebirth of art, music, books and poetry.
In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God Janie, the protagonist, is treated kindly for a black women. Their Eyes Were Watching God Questions and Answers.
The Question and Answer section for Their Eyes Were Watching God is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. Relationship is an exploratory journey. Janie grew up to find herself through each of her relationships.
Her subdued lifestyle with her grandmother, her subdued and rather painful existence with her first husband Logan, her disillusionment after her initial enchantment with her second husband Jody, and her unfortunate killing of the husband she so loved, Tea Cake, all help her to.
By common consent his BBC Half Hour was the pinnacle of early TV comedy. The best of the scripts provided Tony Hancock with a brilliant foil for his comic genius.