Pin ItWrite a four+ page essay using evidence from the novel to develop your interpretation. Focus on four sections of the novel that best support your thesis and include two quotes from the novel to develop each body paragraph. Follow the outline for essay one including an Introduction, four subtopics and your conclusion. Follow MLA style with in- text citations and a works cited page. Add a creative dimension to your essay by including a one page epilogue to the final chapter in which you reveal Janie’s future. Include a conversation between Phoeby and Janie, or with Phoeby and the townspeople or any other characters. The narrator can describe her future, Janie can tell us in her own voice, or another character can fill us in.

Topic 1: Discuss the evolving worldview of Janie Crawford from her sixteen year old view of a blooming pear tree and her final view of her life “like a great tree in leaf. . . Dawn and doom was in the branches” (8). Focus on the symbolic images that demonstrate her development as “a delegate to de big ‘ssociation of life” (6). What did Janie learn about life through her journey to Logan Killicks’ farm, to Joe Starks’ town and store in Eatonville, to Jacksonville and the Everglades with Tea Cake until she returns to the big white house alone.

Topic 2: Defend Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God to the critics who argue that she should have been writing in the “protest tradition” (Washington vii). According to Richard Wright, the novel exploits aspects of the black experience by stereotyping them and appealing to a white audience. In response to Wright’s criticism, Hurston argued that she had written “a black novel” and created a black woman’s voice in a white man’s world. Discuss the racial tension and gender inequities that Hurston reveals in this novel.

Topic 3: In the 1960’s critics praised the novel particularly for the unique character of Janie Crawford who resists conventional society and sets out to discover her identity and make her own choices. Does she succeed? In the end, is Janie Crawford (Killicks, Starks, Woods) a success? Is she an independent woman who discovers her own identity and provides a role model for other women? Does Tea Cake provide a new definition of masculinity? Do Janie and Tea Cake provide a new model for a marriage? What does the conclusion reveal about her legacy to women and to men?

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