The Importance of Dreams

Throughout the history of black American culture, the pursuit of dreams has played a pivotal role in self-fulfillment and internal development. In many ways an individual's reactions to the perceived and real obstacles barring the path to a dream define the very character of that person. This theme has been quite evident in black literary works regardless of time period or writing style. For example, in both Fences, by August Wilson, and Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, dreams enhance the plot and message of the story, though the two stories develop under different circumstances. The importance of dreams in character development is one common thread that unites Fences and Their Eyes Were Watching God, two stories penned by authors similar only in their racial backgrounds.

While Their Eyes Were Watching God focuses little on the dreams of men, the author's attitude toward this subject is clear from the very first paragraph of her novel. She claims that men's dreams are "mocked to death by Time", implying that men are so inherently passive that they have less control than the "tide" over their own desires (Hurston 1). Logan Killicks and Joe Starks provide physical representations...

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