A Quest for Identity in Zora Neal Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God
International Journal of Literature and Arts
Volume 2, Issue 4, July 2014, Pages: 92-97
Received: May 19, 2014; Accepted: Jun. 20, 2014; Published: Jun. 30, 2014
Views 3556      Downloads 394
Authors
Zahra Mahdian Fard, Department of English Language and Literature, College of Humanities, Boroujerd Branch, Islamic Azad University, Boroujerd, Iran
Bahman Zarrinjooee, Department of English Language and Literature, College of Humanities, Boroujerd Branch, Islamic Azad University, Boroujerd, Iran
Article Tools
Follow on us
Abstract
Identity or the preoccupation with one’s self constitutes one of the main obsessions of Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) as a novelist. The fundamental argument in this paper is the quest for identity in Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). She portrays characters who try to recognize themselves based on their own inner desires and thoughts. Many signs and hints in the novel demonstrate the main character’s notion of selfhood and identity changes as she is exposed to the new conditions, realities and experiences. At the end of Janie’s journey, she turns into an integrated and self-aware individual through a psychological process. Theoretically, this paper applies Frantz Fanon’s (1925-1961) theories, who dealt with psychological impacts of colonialism on the colonized people. Concerning his critique of the White’s oppression on black people, Fanon focuses his argument on the inadequacy of European rationalism and their disregard of the experience of ‘the other.’ For him colonization is totally a Euro- or White-centered discourse which does not account for or include non-White and non-European discourses. Fanon asserts that black people need to free themselves from the hegemony of White people and become independent. Eventually, this paper shows that Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God, after all her attempts and search for self-realization or her feminine identity, gains a great success in achieving her goals.
Keywords
Identity, Black, Oppression, Colonialism, Self-realization
To cite this article
Zahra Mahdian Fard, Bahman Zarrinjooee, A Quest for Identity in Zora Neal Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, International Journal of Literature and Arts. Vol. 2, No. 4, 2014, pp. 92-97. doi: 10.11648/j.ijla.20140204.12
References
[1]
Balibar, Etienne. “Subjection and Subjectivation.” Supposing the Subject. Joan Copjec. London: Verso, 1994.1-15.
[2]
Bertens, Hans. Literary Theory: The Basics. London: Routledge, 2001.
[3]
Bloom, Harold. Zora Neale Hurston. New York: InfoBase Publishing, 2007.
[4]
Bressler, Charles. Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice. New York: Routledge, 1984.
[5]
Descartes, Rene. Discourse on the Method and Meditation. New York: Dover Publications, 2003.
[6]
Frantz, Fanon. Black Skin, White Masks. Trans. Charles Marlmann. London: Pluto P, 2008.
[7]
Hubbard, Dolan. “…Ah said Ah’d Save De Text for You: Recontextualizing the Sermonto Tell (Her) story in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.”Zora Neal Hurston. Ed. Harold Bloom. Ed. New York: InfoBase Publishing, 2007.35-50.
[8]
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York: Harper Col-lins,2009.
[9]
Lamothe, Daphne. “Vodou Imagery, African-American Tradition and Cultural Transformation in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Zora Neal Hurston. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: InfoBase Publishing,2007.159-180.
[10]
Rivkin, Julie and Michael Rayne (eds.). Literary Theory: An Anthology. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.
[11]
Tyson, Lois.Critical Theory Today. New York: Routledge, 2006.
[12]
Washington, Helen Mary. “I Love The Way Janie Crawford Left Her Husband: Zora Neale Hurston’s Emergent Female Hero.” Zora Neal Hurs-ton’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: InfoBase Publishing, 2008. 9-22.
ADDRESS
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
U.S.A.
Tel: (001)347-983-5186