Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston. Chapter One

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Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching GodZora Neale Hurston1Chapter One

What do you think the author means when she says, Ships at a distance have every mans wish on board?It is a metaphor for dreams and the idiom his ship will come in.For some, their dreams will arrive the way they want them to; for others, they will never achieve their dream.For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation (1)Depending on the interpretation, the Watcher is:GodThe dreamer himself/herself2. Who do you think the Watcher is in the first paragraph?PersonificationMeaning = There is often not enough time for dreams to come trueLife, like time, is fleeting3. What literary device is being used in the phrase: mocked to death by Time? What does this phrase mean?PersonificationMeaning = The sun had gone down, and in its stead left the stars4. What literary device is being used in the phrase: The sun had gone, but had left his footprints in the sky? What do you think this means?PersonificationMeaning = There were words being used or thrown out that were indecipherable, or whose speaker cannot be identified, but they came out of several mouths at one time, almost like singers in a chorus singing the same phrase5. What literary device is being used in the sentence: Words walking without masters; walking altogether like harmony in a song? How could you interpret its meaning?The mood is somber, unsettling, confused, insecure, and suspicious.The peoples gossip helps contribute to the speculation and suspicion. We feel as uncomfortable as Janie feels returning home, having everyone voice their assumptions about what had happened to her.6. Describe the mood at the beginning of chapter one. How do the peoples reactions to the woman contribute to the mood?She has been gone awhile and is returning; she left in a blue dress, and came back in overalls. There is speculation that her lover took her money and ran off with another woman; she was much older than her lover.Examples vary. (Discuss)7. What do we learn about Janie from this chapter? Find 4 examples from the text that describe her either physically or emotionally.Chapter Two

She became aware that she was blackJanie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone. Dawn and doom was in the branches. (8)She doesnt recognize herself in a photographBut before Ah seen the de picture Ah thought Ah wuz just like de rest. (9)1. What discovery did Janie make about herself when she was very young?Janies mother ran off; Janies father, who had raped her mother, was running from the lawAh never called mah Grandma nothin but Nanny, cause dats what everybody on de place called her. (8)2. Why was Janie raised by her grandmother?Janies grandfather was a white slave ownerLeafy was the byproduct of sexual assault/rape3. Who was Janies grandfather (Leafys father)?She was going to be whipped to near death for having the Masters baby.Upon people realizing Leafy resembled the white slave master, Nanny knew she had to escape in order to save herself and Leafy4. Why did Nanny run away from the plantation?So that she could have a stable, comfortable life, and be watched after.You aint got nobody but me. And mah head is ole and tilted towards de grave. Neither can you stand alone by yoself. De thought uh you bein kicked around from pillar tuh post is uh hurtin thing. Every tear you drop squeezes a cup uh blood outa mah heart. Ah got tuh try and do for you befo mah head is cold. (15)5. Why did Nanny want Janie to marry Logan Killicks?She was raped by a white man and became pregnant with Janie.And after you were born she took to drinkin likker and stayin out nights. Couldnt git her to stay here and nowhere else. Lawd knows where she is right now (19)6. What happened to Janies mother at age 17? What happens as a result?Janies father was a white man, her school teacher, who ran off the night he raped Leafy.7. Who was Janies father?Answers may vary:Nanny is saying she is old and fragile, and to go easy on her.Nannys fragility is not something she wishes upon JanieShe wishes for sympathy from Janie before her deathPut me down easy (20)8. What does Nanny mean when she says that she is a cracked plate?Chapter Three

She has a very idealistic and romantic view. She feels she will be swept away in blissNanny and the old folks had said it, so it must be so Janie felt glad of the thought, for then it wouldnt seem so destructive and mouldy. She wouldnt be lonely anymore.Janie marries Logan for others expectations, for the comfort and protection marriage offers, but not out of love1. What ideals does Janie have about love?She will fall in love with him and experience the type of love she has always dreamed about.She expects love to happen and begins to worry when she doesnt feel love for LoganThe new moon has been up and down three times before she got worried in mind. (22)2. What does Janie believe will happen after she and Logan get married?Although he takes care of her, she is repulsed by him and certainly doesnt love him.Ahd ruther be shot wid tacks than tuh turn over in de bed and stir up de air whilst he is in dere Ah wants things sweet wid mah marriage lak when you sit under a pear tree (24)3. How does Janie feel about her husband?Nannys advice for Janie is to be patient and wait for love to comeBetter leave things de way dey is. Youse young yet. No tellin whut mout happen befo you die. Wait awhile, baby. Yo mind will change. (24)4. What is Nannys advice to Janie?Answers may vary:The world was a breeding place for new life (stallion) in the universe (blue pasture of ether)The world goes around and life goes on no matter what.5. What do you think the narrator means when she says She knew the world was a stallion rolling in the blue pasture of ether?Answers may vary:Janies first dream (her romantic ideal of the way love should be) was dead, so she had her first real disappointment in life.This statement of the death of her dream means that to her, her life begins with this disappointment; this disappointment is her realityshe will have to make the best of her life from then on.6. Analyze the following: Janies first dream was dead, so she became a woman. How does this statement relate to claims made in chapter one that the dream is the truth?Chapter Four

Logan doesnt show much love or attention; he wants Janie to work hard labor next to him.Janie noticed that her husband had stopped talking in rhymes to her. (26)You aint got no mo business wid uh plow than uh hog is got wid uh holiday! (Joe Starks, 29)1. How has Janies marriage to Logan changed since they were first married?He wants her to work on a plow in the field with him.Ah aims tuh run two plows (Logan, 27)2. What does Logan want Janie to do with the mule he plans to bring back from town?He is well-groomed, attractive, stylishly-dressed; seal-brown in color; self-assured and driven.He whistled like he knew where he was going. (27)Janie is flirtatious and nave.She offers him sweeten water, to which Joe replies, Never specks to get too old to enjoy syrup sweeten water when its cools and nice (28)3. Describe Joe Starks. How does Janie act when she first meets him?Joe has saved money to go to Eatonville, FloridaHe wants to be a part of the all-black community.He had always wanted to be a big voice, but de white folks had all de sayso where he comes from and everywhere else, exceptin dis place dat colored folks was buildin theirselves. (28)4. Where does Joe want to go? Why?Answers will vary.He says the right thingsShe is attracted to him, whereas she was just forced into the relationship with Logan.He is well-dressed and seems to know what he wants out of life.She may be attracted physically, but also attracted to the possibility of being treated better, since he is such a smooth talker.5. Why do you think Janie is so attracted to Joe?He wants her to plow the field; Janie refuses.Ahm too honest and hard-workin for anybody in yo family, dats de reason you dont want me! (Logan, 32)6. What happens to trigger Janies final decision to leave Logan?Janie expects that things will be better now; that Joe will show her what real love is.The morning road air was like a new dress. That made her feel the apron tied around her waist. She untied it and flung it on a low bush beside the road and walked on, picking flowers and making a bouquet From now on until death she was going to have flower dust and springtime sprinkled over everything. A bee for her bloom. (32)7. What expectations does Janie have about her new marriage to Joe?Chapter Five

She wants to make the reader believe that Janie has finally found love. This is familiar because Logan is previously referred to as making speeches with rhymes.1. Why do you think Hurston begins Chapter 5 with the sentence On the train the next day, Joe didnt make many speeches with rhymes to her Why is this sentence familiar?They are not very impressed; they expected better.Why, taint nothing but a raw place in de woods A whole heap uh talk and nobody doin nothin (Joe, 34)It is a whole heap littler than I thought. (Janie, 34)2. What is Janie and Joes first impression of the town?He wants to organize the town and elect a Mayor. He also wants to build up as many buildings and homes as possible to make the town more impressive.Ahm buyin in here, and buyin in big. (Joe, 35)3. When Joe realizes what the town is really like, what does he plan to do?Answers will vary.They are slow, uneducated and seem lazy. They do not seem like the type that will be too interested in Starkss plan.The town may react the same way.4. What do you think of Amos Hicks and Lee Coker? What do their personalities and behavior tell you about the town?They are landmarks for the town. He wants to build a great black city, and a post office and store represent the beginnings. For a black

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