Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “Their Eyes Were Watching God”

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Zora Neale Hurston, American author. Deutsch: ...

Zora Neale Hurston, American author. Deutsch: Zora Neale Hurston Español: Zora Neale Hurston (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cover of "Their Eyes Were Watching God"

Cover of Their Eyes Were Watching God

Tina Turner belts out a great 80’s tune about love and relationships and her personal point-of-view on the whole age-old matter of that interpersonal sparking that goes on between man and woman.  That tune kept running through my mind as I read Zora Neale Hurston‘s Their Eyes Were Watching God.  I think Janie and Tina would have been soul sisters or at least would have gone out for a girl chat at the local Starbucks.

TEWWG is not a title I would have picked up on my own.  I’m not a fan of dialect-heavy text, hence I don’t do a lot of Mark Twain either.  Simply tell me the person is Irish, Swedish, Southern, or illiterate Northern and I get the idea.  All the enhanced ‘taint so, hissa, and blimeys wear on my inner ear after awhile. Since Hurston’s book is on my list of AP Literature texts we will explore in class next year  I have plucked away at Janie’s vernacular and have come away an enriched reader. Why? Hurston’s writing style is mesmerizing.  I also came away with another plucky female protagonist to add to my list.  Janie is a survivor, and an admirable individual with or without a man in her life.  She’s got chutzpah. Janie is one of literature’s greatest philosopher’s concerning love:

“Love ain’t somethin’ lak uh grindstone dat’s de same thing everywhere and do de same thing tuh everything it touch. Love is lak de sea. It’s uh movin’ thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore” (20.7).

We as readers witness how Janie experiences love in three different forms: an unwilling, immature teenager who’s ignited imaginings of love are reduced to serving as a farm hand; a trophy wife whose own needs become buried as her social position rises; and finally as the woman fulfilled in a marriage of choice.

Written in 1937 (literary wagging tongues say Hurston did so in seven weeks), Hurston’s novel covers many issues reflective of the times.  If we can set those aside and concentrate on Janie, I would comment on how Janie set a standard worth noting: marry for love, even if it cross grains tradition and common sense.

What does love have to do with marriage?  Everything, according to Janie.  Tina gave us her opinion about it in the eighties, but Janie had it hands-down in thirties. Let the love meet you on the shore of life.

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P.S. Halle Berry presents an admirable Janie in the movie version of the book.  While the movie condenses the book greatly, Janie’s character is captured well by the beauteous Berry.


I Do So Appreciate My Readers

Cover of "Inception"

Cover of Inception

Cover of "Their Eyes Were Watching God"

Cover of Their Eyes Were Watching God

It is ever so wonderful to check notifications and discover the nomination of a blogger award.  This one comes  from AJ Jenner. She is doing what most of us writers would like to do–take a sabbatical from the workaday world and she is seriously pursuing writing.  Yay and hooray to live out that goal. News update: she just won a screenwriting contest.  Double hooray!

I’m a little fuzzy about the requirements of this award and so I will wing it (as usual).

First off: what have I been up to lately?  Hmmm, besides grading papers until my eyes and resolve give out, I’ve managed to smush in some fun stuff:

  • read a few books: Their Eyes Were Watching God (a possible text for AP literature), Insurgent (been waiting almost a year for the sequel to Divergent) .
  • watch a few DVDs: Inception (again). Flyboys (for my seniors as a means of emphasizing how WWI experience shifted the world’s paradigm and changed literature forever), Miracle Worker, Romeo and Juliet (both for classes, yet I don’t mind how many times I’ve watched them), Their Eyes Were Watching God (almost as good as the book), Garrow’s Law (series based on real life of the English lawyer who began defense for the prosecuted in 18th century).
  • garden–although I’m not enjoying it quite like I used to. Score? Weeds 5, Me-1
  • gelato walks: on Fridays they offer fruit flavors (strawberry on top and chocolate on the bottom…yummmmy)
  • procrastinate about editing my YA novel that needs to be sent off to a publisher I discovered at a recent writing conference.

Oh, and nap.  I turned to chocolate to relieve the stress of end-of-the year teaching, and gained two pounds.  Napping seems to be working better.  Somewhere I read that those who nap lose weight.  I still prefer chocolate though.

Another part of the award is to nominate other blogs?  I don’t know how many we are supposed to nominate so I will offer up those blogs who regularly respond and drop by:

Eagle-eyed Editor


Remco Coesel

Literary Tiger



And I do so appreciate my readers, so if I left you off the list, my apologies.  I really need to finish this so I can take my Sunday nap.  Either that or I will succumb to popping down to the store for chocolate.

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