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A Comparison of Meridian by Alice Walker and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Word Count: 1,458
Many comparisons can be drawn between the novels Meridian by Alice Walker and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston The protagonists of both books are African-American females searching in a confused bewildered world Meridian is the story of the title characters life from childhood to the Civil Rights Movement while Eyes chronicle Janies ever-evolving character from life with a white family in the Deep South to her return home to Eatonville Meridian and Janies constant need to identify and connect with their community while maintaining a sense of self-actualization drives main character development and catalyzes many important events in both works An important key in the cultural heritage and upbringing of both women were their respective maternal figures Janies Nanny and Meridians mother were the key figures in their early cultural and self awareness These two women attempted to mold Janie and Meridian in their own images the only images they knew Meridians mother was a product of the southern culture around the time Janie would have lived She lived as a schoolteacher in her young adult years She simply fell into the cultural trap of love and marriage Walker describes the love Meridians mother felt as toleration for his Meridians fathers habits 50 This woman had no want of children She was completely unprepared for what they would mean to her life Children shattered Meridians mother Meridian would have loved for her mother to break the bonds of society like her great-grandmother Feather Mae who loved walking nude about the yard and worshipped only the sun But her mother fell into the southern rut This rut included never talking about sex Meridian believing the subject taboo never spoke of it either Just as in Eyes it was one of those things that everyone did but no one spoke of Meridian being an impressionable young woman began to have sex She perhaps like many other young women of her time struggled
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