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Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

31 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

Their Eyes Were Watching God

My Review


This review is about a book called "Their Eyes Were Watching God," by Zora Neale Hurston. If you wanted to now the genre of this book is a Western Romance type. If you like stories about the past in slavery time you will love this book. This book cons...
My Review


This review is about a book called "Their Eyes Were Watching God," by Zora Neale Hurston. If you wanted to now the genre of this book is a Western Romance type. If you like stories about the past in slavery time you will love this book. This book consists of many people since the setting is in the town of Eatonville in Florida. Main characters of the book consist of Janie, Jody Starks, and a young man by the name of Tea Cake. Supporting characters in the story are Nanny Crawford, Johnny Taylor, Pheoby Watson and Dr. Simmons. In more depth Janie is a really complex character in this book. She is beautiful, very intelligent, and powerful. Throughout this whole story she tries to find who and what she really is and fights through all of the obstacles and finds out that she is a powerful black women that doesn't need a man to support her. Another main character in this book is young sweet talking Tea Cake who is Janie's longest lover. Tea Cake plays a huge roll in this story. He teaches Janie many things and plays a crucial role in her development. He is a strong well rounded character with only great morals. This guy is the best guy out of the other two, first husband Logan Killicks and Jody Starks her second husband. In this story the setting is really significant because it is based in Florida a little bit after slavery has been abolished. Because of this there are many African-Americans who are just like Janie and Tea Cake trying to find a home and where they fit in life. The major conflict for the most part is that Janie can not stay with a man for her entire life and trying to figure out ultimately who she is. During the course of this story she is with three different guys. She leaves two of them and something happens to the other that I won't exactly tell what. One thing that is very special about this book is the dialect between characters. Throughout the whole story the characters don't speak proper english, they still have a sense of not being educated when they speak, but it sort of gives the book a good aspect and makes it more realistic. In this book there is a lot of conversations and dialect it's the majority of the book. You don't tend to get inside to the thoughts of characters. The point of view in this book is first person told from Janie's views. I'm a high school baseball player type of guy and I really honestly could say that I was pretty interested in this book. Even though it wouldn't be a book I regularly read. It took me for a ride through the life of Janie from childhood growing up to her late forties. There were thrills and excitement to starting a new town of only colored folks to disappointment and tragedy at the end of the book. All in all it was a thumbs up. A great read!!!!!

posted by rb924life on March 29, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston's 'acclaimed' 1

Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston's 'acclaimed' 1937 book is considered a 'staple' of the Harlem Renaissance. However,
Their Eyes, as we shall call it for short, it perhaps one of the most dreadful books written by mankind. Once reading, one asks himself,...
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston's 'acclaimed' 1937 book is considered a 'staple' of the Harlem Renaissance. However,
Their Eyes, as we shall call it for short, it perhaps one of the most dreadful books written by mankind. Once reading, one asks himself, why 
hasn't mankind just given up on writing books?  Their Eyes tells the story of a black chick, who's something like like a third white and has
white people hair, who marries three dudes (at different times, calm down) and does some crazy shizzle.  Her first husband doesn't fulfill
granny's promise, and makes her till a field with a donkey, so he can sit on his drinking sweet tea. Consequently, another black dude comes
to town, and after barely handing him a glass of sweet tea, she's off and married him (no divorce?) and heading to god only knows where.
So this dude, named Jodie, develops a town called Eatonville, FL (FL being both Florida's abbreviation, and being symbolic because it is
ForLosers).  Here comes the big shocker. He doesn't fulfill his promise and makes her work.  Here, ol' Zora makes the point that her hair
is in a hair tie (one will come quickly to know that these people must be hair worshipers, and a barbershop must be a shrine to them),
which is supposed to signify oppression, but its actually just tied up hair.  Anyways, in the middle of this, Zora goes on a trip of some kind
(rearrange the letters of DSL and you'll know) , and writes about another donkey walking around the town biting children. It dies, so the town
has a funeral for it, and a big group of talking cult vultures come and hop all over it until one tells that that it is food.  Skipping ahead, hubby
#2 ceases, and she runs off with some tramp named Tea Cake (making her a cougar now).  Apparently Tea Cake is a cute name, so I will
name my child hard tac so the think she's cute in the Army. Anyways, first night after being married (this time she doesn't need a divorce,
since #2 is dead, although she wouldn't have had one anyways {technically still married to #1 though}), he steals her 'hidden' $200 and
loses all but $15 bucks worth, and the next night, abandons her again, winning $315.  She loves him even more although he disappears
without explanation their first two nights.  Next, they move to the everglades to go 'work in the muck', although they are living in a house, I
dunno.  Tea Cake goes off wrestling in the mud with a chunkie girl named Lunkie (this is fo shizzle), and says she just took 'his tickets'.  This
is reminiscent of the movie 'Young Frankenstein' when the cute blonde chick asks the scientist if he wants to 'roll in the hay', as she literally
is in a wagon filled with hay, rolling in it.  So after much time, there is a hurricane. So now, Zora has another trip, and as everything floods,
for so reason, they must save themselves from drowning (not the weird part).  So, naturally, as any loving husband would do in a developed
town during a hurricane, he fights a rapid dog off a cow's back so they can save themselves.  He gets rabies, and goes insane.  He gets a
gun, tries to shoot Janie, she wips out a shotgun from her mysterious invisible cartoon pocket, and kills him. They try her for murder, the
white people give her an acquittal, and she throws a huge funeral.  Then, she goes back to Eatonville wearing overalls and a hair tie, again,
an unfortunate cowgirl outfit makes her seem oppressed. The people there gossip, she goes to her bedroom where she used to fool around
with #2, and thinks about #3, Tea Cake, and is finally happy.

Moral of the story? First: No guy will EVER like this book. Second: If you are a half black, half white girl in 1900's Florida, never wear a hairtie,
and remember, you only find true love when you are a cougar and your third-named-after-a-pastry-husband gets rabies from trying to float down
a river on a cow.

If this is your high school/college reading assignment, you have my pity, may the force be with you. 

posted by petersnoopy on March 28, 2013

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  • Posted March 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Their Eyes Were Watching God

    My Review


    This review is about a book called "Their Eyes Were Watching God," by Zora Neale Hurston. If you wanted to now the genre of this book is a Western Romance type. If you like stories about the past in slavery time you will love this book. This book consists of many people since the setting is in the town of Eatonville in Florida. Main characters of the book consist of Janie, Jody Starks, and a young man by the name of Tea Cake. Supporting characters in the story are Nanny Crawford, Johnny Taylor, Pheoby Watson and Dr. Simmons. In more depth Janie is a really complex character in this book. She is beautiful, very intelligent, and powerful. Throughout this whole story she tries to find who and what she really is and fights through all of the obstacles and finds out that she is a powerful black women that doesn't need a man to support her. Another main character in this book is young sweet talking Tea Cake who is Janie's longest lover. Tea Cake plays a huge roll in this story. He teaches Janie many things and plays a crucial role in her development. He is a strong well rounded character with only great morals. This guy is the best guy out of the other two, first husband Logan Killicks and Jody Starks her second husband. In this story the setting is really significant because it is based in Florida a little bit after slavery has been abolished. Because of this there are many African-Americans who are just like Janie and Tea Cake trying to find a home and where they fit in life. The major conflict for the most part is that Janie can not stay with a man for her entire life and trying to figure out ultimately who she is. During the course of this story she is with three different guys. She leaves two of them and something happens to the other that I won't exactly tell what. One thing that is very special about this book is the dialect between characters. Throughout the whole story the characters don't speak proper english, they still have a sense of not being educated when they speak, but it sort of gives the book a good aspect and makes it more realistic. In this book there is a lot of conversations and dialect it's the majority of the book. You don't tend to get inside to the thoughts of characters. The point of view in this book is first person told from Janie's views. I'm a high school baseball player type of guy and I really honestly could say that I was pretty interested in this book. Even though it wouldn't be a book I regularly read. It took me for a ride through the life of Janie from childhood growing up to her late forties. There were thrills and excitement to starting a new town of only colored folks to disappointment and tragedy at the end of the book. All in all it was a thumbs up. A great read!!!!!

    31 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 4, 2009

    "Their Eyes Were Watching God" is a fabulous book.

    I first read "Their Eyes Were Watching God" more than 45 years ago and thought it was a magnificent piece of writing. In August of 2008 I bought the book on CD, read by Ruby Dee, and I must tell you, I was overwhelmed. Ruby makes the characters in this book live. If there was such a thing as Oscars for individuals reading books on tape/CD etc., Ruby would win it, hands down. Her presentation breathes life into each and every character; their voices, male and female, through her interpretation, is absolutely outstanding. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to go on an adventure, because Zora Neale Hurston's main characters were living a life of adventure, of being nomads in America, of taking a chance on life, of walking out on faith. Amd Ruby Dee, through her vocalization, includes you in that adventure. Absolutely wonderful book and Rudy Dee's reading is like icing on the cake. Just amazing.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2007

    Great book!

    I had to choose a novel for my sophmore summer reading along with 'A Raisin In the Sun'. I choose this one thinking it would be horrible but I was very wrong! This is an AMAZING book. Some say it's hard to understand because of the language but it isn't that hard really. After the first chapter you get used to the lingo. I would recommed this book for anyone that wants a good story about love.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2008

    book better than the movie

    I really liked the book, but the movie fell flat. It wasn't a bad movie, but it was not as strong as the book. Therefore, I would recommend reading the book over watching the movie.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    Very good

    This was one of the few books that I read for school and actually enjoyed. It is a beautifully written story about the nature of love, and a woman's struggle to define herself. I absolutely love it, and would recommend it, although it is not necessarilly an easy read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2012

    Awesomeee

    The greatest book i have ever read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Thier Eyes Were Watching God

    Best book I have read this year!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2007

    Zora has always been my favorite novelist

    Zora is the reason I became an author. Her narratives are so precise, she capture the pure essence of the south and its folklore.Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of the first novel I read while enrolled at Temple University. I love you Zora.'RIP' J.Albert Smith, Author of Blue Sunday

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2015

    more from this reviewer

    Powerful, Warm, and Funny

    The first three paragraphs of this book set the stage and give us a slight insight to what may be at the root of this narrative. In the first paragraph we see the hopes, wishes and dreams of men always being at a distance on ships. These hopes and wishes are always within sight but never seem to be attainable, until ultimately the man resigns and father Time takes his dreams away and laughs at the Watcher. The paragraph ends with the phrase; “That is the life of men.”

    Immediately in the second paragraph the author begins with “Now, women…” This leads me to believe that there is something coming that differentiates women and men’s dreams, hopes and desires. It states the difference between the genders and their hopes. And then the author makes her statement; “The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.” Women not only dream like men, but more importantly they accept and endear there dream as the path for their life and take actions to fulfill the dream. Men just watch their dreams and wishes at a distance.

    And finally the third paragraph “So the beginning of this was a woman and she had come back from burying the dead.” I believe the author is saying that this story is one of a woman who had a dream, acted and fulfilled the dream, and now she is returning from not only a lost life to death, but a dream that has died with him. The chapter goes on explaining the reception she receives returning home, her state of being, and returning to a close friend, Pheoby. The woman’s name is Janie Mae Crawford and now she needs a friend for comfort and counsel. “Pheoby, we been kissin’-friends for twenty years, so Ah depend on you for a good thought. And Ah’m talking to you from dat standpoint.” So begins the narrative of Janie’s life as told by Janie to her close and dear friend Pheoby.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2014

    Room 2

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2014

    Wolfgang

    Looks around then turns to res 2

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2014

    Pokemon forest

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2014

    Great book, horrible copy

    Hurston's book mixes poetic images and dialect to tell a profound and meaningful story of the struggles of Janie. Themes covered include feminism, racism, and romance/love. This is a classic of American literature.
    However, pay the extra $5 and get the Harper Collins edition. This book is terribly formatted, and has nothing not in the more expensive digital copy. This book is fixed format essentially, not reflowable. Even if you make the font unreadably small, the text looks horrible and breaks in the wrong places.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2014

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2014

    Great Reading

    If you want to know about Florida as it was, you should read this book. It tells how people lived in those years.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2014

    Classic

    An American classic.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Patriarchal priviledge can mean a lot of things - a fine home, m

    Patriarchal priviledge can mean a lot of things - a fine home, money, status, the admiration of others (tinged with jealousy), but without love, these are as nothing.

    This is a graphic story about how poorly prestige compares to genuine love.

    For those needing to make tough relationship decisions, this wonderful classic throws bleak notions of compromise out the window!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 12, 2014

    This book just melted into a love story¿so well written. I enjoy

    This book just melted into a love story…so well written. I enjoyed the vernacular of the characters, it brought this story to life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2014

    This book is brilliant! I could not put it down. One of the most

    This book is brilliant! I could not put it down. One of the most poignant tales of strength and grace I have ever read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 13, 2013

    Wonderful book - a must read

    I really enjoyed this book, and I was afraid I wouldn't since I watched the movie first; however, it didn't affect my image of the characters at all, but I did like the book a lot better. I will most likely read this book again, and I will for sure recommend it to my friends.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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