Criticism of Hurston’s work and why?
The misinterpretation of Hurston’s intent in her writing of TWEG was due to the personal biases of both African American males and Anglo-Saxon critics who were the the majority of perspectives in the literacy world during 1937 and 1938.
African American male criticism
Said Hurston uses minstrel technique (plays to white audience, due to criticism of whites) vouluntarily
Felt prose cloacked in facile sensuality that has dogged Negro expression
Depicts AA in pendulum in which white ppl like to see AA btw laughter and tears
Believed novel directed toward whites
Plot undermines negro experience as “quaint”.
Called the work social document fiction and motive fiction
Uses pseudo-primitive (attempt to be precivilized)
Anglo-Saxon point of view
Calls into question Eatonville due to black ownership
Sees Jody as unusual Negro go-getter
Saw as humerous
Saw Jody as rewarding
Sees Tea-Cake as shiftless and warm-blooded gambler
Saw depicts of Negro speech as accurate
Praises for no expression of racial frustration
See’s story as simple and pretentious
Sees Janie’s story as beautiful
Refers to AA as uncivilized (“everyone not so civilized to have a capacity for glory)
Suggests Janie is unsophistocated (“How different the story would have been if a sophisticated woman stood, at 40, in Janie's shoes, scores of novels already testify!”)
Too prettily worded
Calls AA simplistic
AA not creative and self concious
Says Hurston doesn’t rely on wit and feeling in TEWG
Sees as humorous
Says book isnt as full blown and striking as other books: homely language
Views of Zora Neal Hurston
Lamented for loss of AA expression wanted to be ancestral loud speaker.
She was tenatious in education and strong minded
Raised in Eatonville first all black town raised to see AA culture as beautiful
Felt that AA culture shouldn’t be compared to that of Anglo-Saxon culture
Wouldn’t conform no matter what (“ I mean to live and die by my own mind and if this is cowardly then I am a coward”)
Commands black vernacular and traditions
Felt black culture was taught as inferior by Anglo-Saxon culture
Black press attacked her on allogations
Unpredictable left for errand wouldn’t see for days
Married 3 times
Danced between both cultures
Hometown lyrie Hurston’s ability to dance between cultures.
Hurston and Book similarities and pupose of TEWG
Hurston used her characteristics and beliefs to show an example of black culture through her story and be used as a tribute to AA culture and the effeminate struggle AA women.
Janie and Hurtson
Married 3 times
Easily acquired male attention
People (Mrs. Turner) approached her and tried to set her up with lighter skinned men or white men
Distaste for people who feel that white company is an honor or seen as superior.
Attacked by AA community for alleged charges
Firm in beliefs/strong sense of self