Tag Archives: gender

Dialect in “Their Eyes”

“What she coin coming back here in dem overhauls? Can’t she find no dress to put on? – Where’s dat blue satin dress she left here in? – Where all dat money her husband took and died and left her? – What dat ole forty year ole ‘oman doin’ wid her hair swingin’ down her back lak some young gal? – Where she left dat you lad of a boy she went off here aid? – Thought she was going to marry? Where he left her?  – What he done wid all her money? – Betcha he off wid some gal so young she ain’t even got no hairs –  why she don’t stay in her class? -” (2)

Notes: dialect, gender expectations, age expectations – she isn’t expected to still “dress young”

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York, New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006. Print.

Men’s wishes, women’s dreams

“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time.That is the life of men. Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember, and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly” (Hurston 1).

Notes: The first lines of the novel illustrate gender distinctions. It states that men’s wishes sometimes come to them through “tide” while others may not get it till the “Watcher” turns his eyes. “Time” is a problem because it mocks men’s dreams. Then the passage states that it is different for women since they “forget things they don’t want to remember.” They are not haunted by thoughts like the men. Their dreams are also the “truth” so in a way they don’t have wishes that are hard to attain like the men do.

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel. New York: Perennial Library, 1990