Their Eyes Were Watching God Questions and Answers
by Zora Neale Hurston

Their Eyes Were Watching God book cover
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What is the meaning of the title of Zora Neale Hurston's novel Their Eyes Were Watching God?

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In Chapter XVIII of Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Theie Eyes Were Watching God, Janie, her husband Teacake, and various other poor black people are huddled in a cabin, listening to the fury of a ferocious storm outside. The narrator reports that

The wind came back with triple fury, and put out the light for the last time. They sat in company with the others in other shanties, their eyes straining against crude walls and their souls asking if He [that is, God] meant to measure their puny might against His. They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.

This last phrase, which gives the novel as a whole its title, is significant for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • It is typical of the allusions to God and to religion which crop up frequently in this novel.
  • It implies that...

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