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mdelmuro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In “Dust Tracks on a Road,” two white women from Minnesota visit young Zora’s classroom and, when they hear her read, invite her to have lunch with them at their hotel. Before this meeting, Zora had to get cleaned “and brushed from head to feet, and I must wear shoes and stockings.” At the meeting, the women served her food “strange” to her, like “stuffed dates and preserved ginger.”

However, to Zora, the most important aspect of this meeting happened when the women, as if conducting a test, had her read from a magazine before lavishing her with gifts. The most important gift Zora received is a bunch of books. Over several paragraphs, Hurston explains how she learned to love literature. She says she met Hercules, Thor, Gulliver, and many other characters from classic literature. These books sparked her love of reading and eventually her writing.