Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Their Eyes Were Watching God book cover
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examples of folklore

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Zora Neale Hurston was strongly influenced by African American oral narrative traditions and contemporary vernacular speech. She incorporates elements from both of them into the structure and the language of the novel. Rather than insert and repeat individual folktales, Hurston weaves the concepts into the fabric of the novel.

Storytelling itself becomes part of the novel’s substance from the outset. Janie not only agrees to tell Pheoby her story, she insists on it. At various points in the novel, the...

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