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The novels Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston and The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston are two works by female authors which celebrate the individuality and strength of women In both cases the characters portrayed in the novels are stark contrasts to both the typical females and males depicted in both early and contemporary works by many male authors In the two pieces of literature women struggle to remain firm in their notions of self-worth and can become independent if the need or opportunity arises What makes this inner-strength so amazing is that the women in the novels are living in societies which characterize their entire sex as merely superfluous components-a notion that is compounded by the beliefs of their respective African American and Chinese ethnic communities However just as female characters in books written by male authors are usually examples of inhibiting and destructive forces to the independent yet responsible male in these two books written by female authors the men are conversely portrayed as the constraining if not ruinous forces for the female In Their Eyes Were Watching God three men try to constrain and eventually destroy Janie through both their actions and the imposition of their sexist yet socially-accepted views However Hurstons unique portrayal of this independent black woman will not allow her to succumb to their prohibitive pressure Janies first husband Logan is the typically idealized mate of most male- and even some female-created literature He is the supporter of the family and with him Janie will want for nothing including a life of her own Logan expects a wife who will love honor and obey Without fully knowing her or what she can offer he expects her to appreciate him for fulfilling what he saw as his duty tuh work and feed yah 29 While this oft excepted notion of a good man-and a woman whose only place is wherever Ah need yuh 30-is characteristic
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