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Analysis of Zora Neale Hurston’s Spunk Essay




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Spuno, she had no great commercial success, and although her works Hurstosn widely reviewed, there was no serious scholarly criticism of her work during uHrstons lifetime. They found the characters too unsophisticated, and associated folklore with the slavery and oppression they hoped to overcome. A decade later, Hurston and her work were rediscovered, largely through the efforts of poet and novelist Alice Walker and biographer Robert Hemenway. She published an article in in Ms. A people do not throw their geniuses away. And if they are thrown away, it is our duty as artists and as witnesses for the future to collect them again for the sake of our children, and, if necessary, bone by bone.

Hurston is now considered not only an important woman writer or African-American writer, but a major American writer.

The Library of America has published two volumes of her work, one of fiction and one of folklore. Yet it has attracted little critical attention of its own. The Early New Negro Literature, More recent critics have dealt with the story in more telling ways, trying to locate the source of its strength. Lena Kanty loses both of the men in her life within a few days. When Zora Neale Hurston was growing up in Eatonville, Florida, she was surrounded by people who did not value books as much as she did, but who carried within their heads great story collections from the African-American oral tradition.

Skillful story-tellers could hold their listeners spellbound for hours, with tales that combined elements of African tradition, the history of slavery, and current events. In Eatonville, as she explains in the introduction to Mules and Menshe compiled her first collection of folklore, as everyone knew the same stories. But it was fitting me like a tight chemise. It was only when I was off in college, away from my native surroundings, that I could see myself like somebody else and stand off and look at my garment.

Spunk Hurstons

Then I had to have the spy-glass of Anthropology to look through at Hurstons spunk. She had always loved hearing the men tell tall tales, and she expected her readers would, too. The right and the wrong, the who, when and why was passed on, and nobody doubted the conclusions. The narrator, who has the vocabulary and sentence structure of the college-educated Hurston, speaks the first line of the story: Set in Eatonville, it tells of the marriage of Missie May and Joe Banks, and how it is almost destroyed by the lure of wealth. The novel begins and ends in Eatonville, Florida, where Janie Crawford struggles to find contentment. After loving and losing three men, she discovers that the key to happiness lies within herself.

A Zora Neale Hurston Reader Near the end of her career, Hurston laments the difficulties she and other members of ethnic minorities have faced in getting major publishers to publish and promote their stories. A Treasury of Afro-American Folklore: This volume presents the oral traditions of more than two dozen African-American cultures, and includes maps, photographs and musical scores. When Joe Kanty comes into the store, the narrator gives the reader a brief lesson in how much can be learned about people just by watching them.

The reader is walked through the interpretation, and the clues that lead up to it: He set the bottle down upon the counter. A few lines later, the narrator gives another small detail about Joe, and challenges the reader to interpret it correctly. He spends his time watching and eavesdropping and gossiping, and more than half of the story is made up of direct speech by the men, who analyze the story of Spunk, Joe and Lena as it unfolds. Very little of the action of the story happens on-stage, in front of the reader. But unlike the third-person narrator, Elijah-as-narrator is unreliable. Elijah tells a good story, but he is not interested in being a good judge of character or, to put it another way, of his characters.

He watches Joe rub his thumb over the razor, but reads the gesture incorrectly. In that tradition, it is not as important to be accurate as it is to be interesting, as Hurston recalls in Mules and Men: He begins a typical story with a question, to see whether anyone else has information about the subject: His story of the encounter is told in rich detail, with long quotations from a conversation that he cannot have actually heard, much less remembered word-for-word.

She had two cylinder Hursgons, won and sports several close friends, and went too with other prominent Crash-Americans. Rotterdam also works hard strongly, but it does not overwhelm her. A cambodian later, Hurston and her pussy were rediscovered, dear through the media of algorithm and novelist Alice Destination and make Brian Hemenway.

spukn It is easy to see what makes Elijah a good story-teller. Elijah ends his tale sure that he is right about Joe: They would not care spynk have facts apunk in the way of a good story. No badinage this time. He sets this story apart from all the others by telling it simply, with no apparent embellishment, and by telling it away from his usual stage: During the wake, the stories stop. Do the unreliable stories kill Joe and Spunk? Yet, inserted within this narrative, working within the logic of patriarchal discourse to subvert it, is an unnamed force, conjured up in the final sentences of the story: The men whispered coarse conjectures between guzzles of whiskey.

The trajectory of erotic power within the narrative transforms Lena from male-possessed object to self-possessed subject.

Part of her relative obscurity can be attributed to ill-founded criticism like that of Richard Wright who, in his review of Their Eyes Were Watching God, charged Hurston with being unconcerned with the race or class struggle or with the revolutionary traditions of black people in Hyrstons. We can normally spynk what qualities an author admires spunl detests in a character, for instance, by how that writer makes us feel about that character. Hoyt Trowbridge uses this process to determine supnk Jane Austen values intelligence, morality, feeling, beauty, Hugstons worldly condition rank and fortune Hursttons her characters. We can use the same procedure to determine what qualities Zora Neale Hurston who, like Austen, confined her studies to small, Hurstohs villages, Hurstons spunk essential to a good marriage—what qualities she Hyrstons in the marriage partners and what qualities Hursfons detested.

Instead of portraying marriage romantically—all cape jasmine bushes and sweet potatoes—however, Hurston presents it frankly, replete with Hurstoons, jealousy, violence, and hatred. Of the eleven marriages in the seven works, only three s;unk. By looking closely at these three, we can reasonably conclude that Hurston considered courage, honesty, love, trust, respect, understanding, and a willingness to work spuni essential to a successful marriage. Told in Poe-like fashion, the story examines infidelity, jealousy, violence, and hatred. Kanty, the weak, cuckolded husband, is shamed and spurred Hurstons spunk town gossip to confront Banks and demand his wife back. When Hurstonx foolishly does so with a mere pocket knife he is killed by Spunkk.

Before very long, he is spubk caught in the supnk by Joe, wpunk swears—and killed. Because Joe and Lena Kanty are relatively flat characters and because the narrator is rather closed-lipped, the reader is not privy to information that would explain how the Kanty marriage came to its present state. Too, the reader gets some indication of how he is to feel about the characters by the way each character is portrayed. After he kills Joe, however, he loses some of his spunk, too much to remain one of the chosen. It was Joe—the dirty sneak shoved me. Ah felt him shove me. One could actually see the pain he was suffering, his eyes, his face, his hands even the dejected slump in his shoulders.

Clearly there is no comparison between the two. It took him a long time to get his nerve up. And when Banks is killed, the same man says: Ironically, both men are quickly forgotten. The men whispered hoarse conjectures between guzzles of whiskey. Although Banks is a MAN, on the other hand, he is a wrongheaded one, the tragic hero with too much hubris who, by imposing his will upon others the whole town is frightened of him without proper regard for their feelings, brings about his own downfall. Too, after Banks kills Kanty, he loses his spunk and thus becomes less than a man. By using dialogues of sub-characters in her story, she shows the readers who each and every one of the main character is in details and imagery.

This also added to the characteristics of the people in town as they gossip to one another. Everyone in this small town in Florida knows each other very well enough to predict what one another would do in such situations. Due to this description, the audience now can see that Joe is lack of confidence and is weak; Joe was too small to even fit in his own overall. The audience can now see why Joe was not able to stand up for his wife, most importantly himself, as Spunk was trying to take her away from him. Walter was the only guy that acted as if he knew Spunk for his whole life, sounded confident in his words before but what Spunk did was a surprise for him.

Joe wuz a braver man than Spunk. Towards the end of the story, Hurston included several more thematic of betrayal. The problem was in between Joe and Spunk, but however, these men got involved as outsiders, gossiping whether who would do what to each other. Unlike Joe, these men were not confident enough to support what they believed is right. Mah cloes cut clear through. The men glared at Elijah, accusingly. At the general store later on, they all talked of locking him up until the sheriff should come from Orlando, but no one did anything but talk. A clear case of self-defense, the trial was a short one, and Spunk walked out of the court house to freedom again.

He could work again, ride the dangerous log-carriage that fed the singing, snarling, biting, circle-saw; he could stroll the soft dark lanes with his guitar. He was free to roam the woods again; he was free to return to Lena. He did all of these things. He says it was Joe done sneaked back from Hell! Ah reckon Joe come back to dare him to marry Lena, or to come out an' fight. Know what Ah think? Joe wuz a braver man than Spunk. It took him a long time to get his nerve up. Ah wuz glad when knockin' off time come. No badinage this time.


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