Dust Tracks on a Road Essay - Masterplots II: Juvenile & Young Adult Biography Series Dust Tracks on a Road Analysis

Zora Neale Hurston

Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction Dust Tracks on a Road Analysis

In her autobiography, Hurston clearly decided to create her own version of the story of her life. From her early years, certain themes appear through the imagery that she chooses. Her curiosity is a major aspect of her personality, from her childhood explorations of her town to her later descriptions of her love of research, which she defines as “formalized curiosity.” This curiosity is insatiable, as she describes it, and leads to the need to explore even when it interferes with her personal life. Her curiosity leads her to a wandering life full of adventures in which she portrays herself always as the star.

One of the telling incidents of Hurston’s life is the death of her mother. She believed that her life was forever changed and writes that the moment was the end of one phase of her life and the beginning of her wanderings and explorations beyond her home environment. She casts herself in her life’s play as a very independent woman, one who only accepts help from others when it is her due and who works hard to achieve her goals. She describes herself as intelligent, fun-loving and hu-morous, and quite stubborn. Although Hurston tells stories that show her weaknesses, she usually emerges victorious, whether in encounters with her family members or in the field on her research trips.

One of the puzzling aspects of the book is her discussion of racial issues. At times, Hurston sounds like an ardent Black Nationalist, yet most of the...

(The entire section is 485 words.)