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

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What figurative language is used in Zora Neale Hurston's How It Feels to Be Colored Me?

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Zora Neale Hurston's autobiographical essay How it Feels to Be Colored Me makes copious use of figurative language, all of it emanating from her relatively late-in-life discovery that she was a racial minority in a society in which skin color counted. Hurston grew up in an African American community founded, like many others, for the express purpose of protecting itself against the violent racial prejudices that permeated the American South. An African American child growing up in an overwhelmingly African American community will not know the significance of his or her skin color until the sanctity of that insular community is either shattered by outside forces or individuals like Hurston leave for other experiences. In Hurston's case, it was the latter, and her sudden immersion in the majority white society beyond Eatonville, Florida, at the still-youthful age of 13 enlightened her regarding racial diversity and the full measure of racial prejudice. To whit, the opening sentence of the...

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