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Word Count: 861
The Use of Race in Their Eyes Were Watching GodThis novel while poetically conveying a black womans pursuit of true love seriously addresses societys ability to be judgmental and oppressive Gender race economic security and social stratification share equally important roles in the development of the main character Janie Hurston vividly describes how each qualification specifically affects the character although the racial implications are much more subtle This subtlety allows the reader to mistakenly perceive indifferent or positive feelings towards the novels black communityHurston initially establishes the ideal unimportance of race by using Janies innocent childhood memory Janie painfully recalls Mr Washburn who is the father of the family with whom they live abusively laughing at her belief of being the same as his white children She also remembers being teased by the other black children for her clothing which is better than others because hers is the Washburn childrens old clothing This recollection is multiply used by Hurston It capitalizes childrens acceptance of people for their actions which is surpassingly more believable than portraying adults with the same feelings It displays the dependence of black people on white people for success Finally it instates the Washburn family as the representation of white culture accordingly initiating a negative undertone towards Janies ethnicity However these prejudices and their undermining effect depicted within the novel are soundly contrasted by Janies peaceful disposition at the end of her narrationHurston masterfully uses the emotional responses of the black characters specifically pertaining to successful and potentially successful endeavors of Joe as metaphors of societys prejudice The initial astonishment of the black characters to Joes monetary holdings and accomplishments deftly conveys this idea Hurston again attaches a plethora of meaning to these scenes Joe is followed by the men from town while going to purchase the land because they do not believe a black man could have money His houses description as overly opulent and making the others seem as servants
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