How It Feels to Be Colored Me Questions and Answers
by Zora Neale Hurston

How It Feels to Be Colored Me book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What does the metaphor in the final paragraph of Zora Neale Hurston's "How It Feels to Be Colored Me" suggest?

Expert Answers info

Colin Cavendish-Jones, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor, Lawyer

bookM.A. from Oxford University

bookPh.D. from St. Andrews University


calendarEducator since 2019

write2,058 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

In his best-known speech, Martin Luther King expressed the hope that his children would live to see a world in which they would "not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Several decades earlier, Zora Neale Hurston made a similar point in her 1928 essay "How It Feels to Be Colored Me." The essay ends with an image of various differently-colored bags propped against a wall. Hurston says that the color of each bag is completely unrelated to its contents. Inside each bag is "a jumble of small things priceless and worthless." If you were to empty out all the bags in a single heap, it would be impossible to tell which contents had come from which bag.

Like Martin Luther King, Hurston is pointing out that the color of one's skin has nothing to do with the content of one's character. You cannot discern anything of value by observing the color of a person or a bag. There is a subsidiary point that all people, whatever their skin color, are "mixed bags",...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 839 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Olen Bruce eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write4,277 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write4,539 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial