Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay Questions

  1. 1

    Analyze Hurston's personification of Death and of Doubt. Why does she capitalize these two abstract concepts?

  2. 2

    Consider Janie's three husbands seperately. What distinguishes them from one another? What do characteristics do they share?

  3. 3

    How does the mule's treatment in Eatonville reflect the condition of the black female? Does Joe's gesture of buying him have symbolic value?

  4. 4

    How does the porch work as a personified symbol? Trace its use throughout the novel.

  5. 5

    Does this novel have a moral? What attitudes does Hurston prescribe towards race? Money? Family?

  6. 6

    Is Nanny a sympathetic character? Is Janie's abandonment of her justified?

  7. 7

    At what point does the division between men's activities and women's activities break down? Which activities where formerly designated as male activities?

  8. 8

    Why did Hurston include Mrs. Turner in the novel? Were Tea Cake and his friends' attack on her cafe justified?

  9. 9

    Who does the pronoun in the title refer to? Janie and Tea Cake? African-Americans in general? Explain how the title relates to the content of the novel.

  10. 10

    Is Hurston's vision of God religious or secular? Do her characters view him as merciful or vengeful?