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Word Count: 1,354
How are the works of two completely different writers Barn Burning by a white male with an aristocratic background and Their Eyes Were Watching God by a black female with a humble background so similar The answer lies in the notion that both William Faulkner and Zora Neale Hurston create works that thrive on the discord that is inherent to humanity in fact their literary force comes from the fact that they are both well equipped to tap into the sometimes grim yet always intriguing aspects of the human condition In short they are both southern writers writing about southern topics The dominance of these southern themes is what makes these two works similar although the emphasis placed upon the themes differ One important thread woven through both Barn Burning and Their Eyes Were Watching God is tension provoked because of class or race differences For starters racial relations mostly serve as a background to both stories Both take place around the Civil War so racial prejudice is still omnipresent However in Their Eyes Were Watching God Hurston uses race relations to portray a deeper message She describes Mrs Turner a black woman with white features who is hateful towards blacks with pity and sympathy because she is so embittered with her hate The subtle satire of Turners vision of paradise a heaven of straight-haired thin-lipped high-nose boned white seraphs 145 is a device to demonstrate how ridiculous it is to judge people by the way they look Furthermore it is ironic that after the verdict is read at Janies trial the white women cry and stand around her like a protecting wall and the Negroes with heads hung down shuffle out and away 188 Here the whites give their aid to Janie because they are able to look past the stereotype of the typical interracial relationship and do the right thing Just as Mrs Turner is obsessed with race and the Negroes are
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