Their Eyes Were Watching God

by: Zora Neale Hurston

Five Key Questions

Summary Five Key Questions

1) What does the title mean?

Hurston’s title comes from Chapter 18 in which Janie and Tea Cake take shelter from the raging hurricane. Hurston writes that they waited to see how nature would determine their fate: “They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.” With this line, the characters recognize the lack of control they have over their own lives, and realize they can only be spared from the cruelty of nature if God sees fit to save them.