Their Eyes Were Watching God
Study Questions & Essay Topics
1. Discuss the role of conversation in Their Eyes Were Watching God. In particular, discuss the effect of Hurston’s narrative technique of alternating between highly figurative narration and colloquial dialogue.
2. Explain the significance of the book’s title. How does it relate to Janie’s quest and the rest of the book?
3. Why is Janie initially attracted to Jody? Why does this attraction fade?
Suggested Essay Topics
1. In 1937, Richard Wright reviewed Their Eyes Were Watching God and wrote: “The sensory sweep of her novel carries no theme, no message, no thought. In the main, her novel is not addressed to the Negro, but to a white audience whose chauvinistic tastes she knows how to satisfy.” In particular, Wright objected to the novel’s discussion of race and use of black dialect. Why might Wright have objected to Their Eyes Were Watching God? Do you agree or disagree with Wright’s interpretation of the novel?
2. Discuss the idea of the horizon in the Their Eyes Were Watching God. What does it symbolize for Janie?
3. Compare and contrast Janie’s three marriages. What initially pulls her to each of the three men? How do they differ from one another? What does she learn from each experience?
4. In her marriage to Jody, Janie is dominated by his power. At several points, however, it is obvious that he feels threatened by her. Why does Jody need to be in control of everyone around him? How does Janie threaten Jody and his sense of control?
5. Their Eyes Were Watching God is concerned with issues of speech and how speech is both a mechanism of control and a vehicle of liberation. Yet Janie remains silent during key moments in her life. Discuss the role of silence in the book and how that role changes throughout the novel.
by Mike_Halk, September 25, 2012
reading this book will send you into a deep depression because after you finish you will realize you spent hours translating this book into real english in your head and then you gained absolutely nothing from it.
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by coco_woah, October 06, 2012
Theirs also a really good movie adaption of this book, we watched it in school. It's with Halle Berry as Jane Crawford.
17 out of 34 people found this helpful2
by chinchilla99999, January 29, 2013
abcdefg gummy bears are chasing me one is red one is blue one is trying to steal my shoe now im running 4 my life cuz the red one has a knife im running at full speed ahead but then i stop cuz i havent been fed i feel my energy bar depleting but then a turkey begins retreating he whines about his finga and then i prone walk since i havent unlocked ninja i barrel roll into the red teddy take his knife and get ready i stab his fluffeh gooey back and then prepare for the secret attack i drop it to the groung and get a predator missile to move a... Read more→
118 out of 183 people found this helpful1