English, Study Questions, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Chapters 1-4 and vocabulary and Harlem Rennisance notes Flashcard

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1. Hurston begins the book with an extended metaphor. What are the dreams of men? How are they different from the dreams of women? Who doesn’t get disappointed?
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The dreams of men do not become realities because they don’t do anything to grasp their dreams and their dreams may not even be clear. On the other hand, women have a passion, purpose, and plan to achieve their dreams. Women do not get disappointed because they are striving for their dreams while men barely even try.
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2. Janie has come back to town after doing what and to whom? (Pay attention to and remember their description.)
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Janie comes back into town after burying her husband, Tea Cake. \”the sun was gone but he had left his footprints in the sky\” .
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3. What are the porch-sitters compared to? How are they characterized? What can you infer from that
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description? \”These sitters had been tongueless, earless, eyeless conveniences all day long. Mules and other brutes had occupied their skins. But now, the sun and the bossman were gone, so the skins felt powerful and human. They became lords of sounds and lesser things. They passed nations through their mouths. They sat in judgment\” They are gossipers and are judgmental — envious of janie and want her to fial
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4. The first two pages are loaded with figurative language, as though Hurston was writing poetry in book form. What is the effect of this? Is it hard to understand? What is the effect of having to work a little harder to understand all the layers of her opening pages?
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The effect of this is many things. One can be that she is highlighting the intelligence of African american women. Another can be that we must pay very close attention and catch all the imagery. It is hard to understand because there is a lot of imagery and symbolism. It is important to work hard to understand the first couple of pages because it sets the stage for the book and also goes into the questioning of identity and self realization.
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5. Pay attention to porches. What is the function of the porch in this chapter?
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The function of porches are gossiping and an open space to talk. They also represent community and a chance where all black people can be together and talk.
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6. The author makes a big deal about Janie’s black rope of hair. This metaphor is a central image in the book. What might Janie’s hair symbolize? Follow it through the book.
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Hair represents her power and unconventional identity. — represents independence because not a lot of girls her age wear it and straightness represents whiteness“
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7. Hurston is careful to give us many of the particulars of Janie’s life since she left this town. What do we know about her?
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She traveled to the everglades for a year and a half with tea cake. Tea cake is younger than her
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Sodden-
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saturated with liquid (soaking) (dull, drunk, heavy, bloated) WET– sodden definition- saturated with liquid; soaked through sentence- \”She had come back from the sodden and the bloated (17).\”
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Relish-
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pleasurable appreciation of anything; liking: \”swallowed (mind)with relish\”– Vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment.
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Scorched
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– Burn the surface of something (burn)– \”rice was scorched\”
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Revelation-
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a surprising and previously unknown fact, especially one that is made known in a dramatic way. (disclosure)
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Monstropolous
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– large; very big (monstrous)— forgetfullness – TIME– time is large and it stops \”Time makes everything old so the kissing, young darkness became a monstropolous old thing while Janie talked\”
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1. Janie’s life is a \”great tree in leaf.\” What does this image convey?
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She sees her life as a tree that grows and changes by the season. It means that she has a strong foundation but still needs to figure out and explore herself and identity. It means that it doesn’t have the leaves or self exploration that she needs to capture and cultivate a true and authentic identity.
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2. What does the pear tree represent, and how does
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Hurston extend this metaphor and symbol? tree=woman, bee=man, sexual awakening, emotional and sexual maturity, bee and tree pollinate blossoms like have sex to create children, janie has an orgasm, awakening to love, marriage, and the roles of men and women, stresses equality for women and men, thinking about love and passion for the 1st time, trees blinding her w/love
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3. Janie’s scene with the pear tree is gentle and lovely. Compare this to the description of Nanny as a different kind of tree. Discuss the description of Nanny and how the different symbols affect you.
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Nanny is symbolic of the submissive slave-like conditions that black women had to live under. Janie is linked with a blossoming pear tree. The symbols are of freedom, love and the erotic. Nanny’s visions are merely of stability in subservience. The reason is that Janie is young and youthful and nanny is full of tradition and the past.
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4. Compare Nanny’s vision of the white man to her vision of the role of the black woman. Define and explain the difference and the reasons for those differences.
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Nanny references the hierarchy of colour and gender. The black woman is at the bottom, she is the \”mule\”,\”So de white man throw down de load and tell de ****** man tuh pick it up. He pick it up because he have to, but he don’t tote it. He hand it to his womenfolks. De ****** woman is de mule ud de world so fur as Ah can see.\” (Chapter 2)
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5. Hurston’s use of imagery is powerful. What does she mean when she says, \”Us colored folks is branches without roots\”?
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I think this alludes to the fact that during slavery, black families could never form roots. In her grandmother’s time, blacks were just beginning to enjoy freedom but the families were all extended in different places, never having a chance to really grow. They are spread out and everywhere (great migration) and they don’t have a solid foundation
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6. Here is another powerful image: Why does Nanny say she is a \”cracked plate\”? What is Janie’s response? What does Nanny mean by this?
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Nanny means that she has already experienced many things that have caused her a lot of pain. She is asking Janie to do this one thing for her that will help ease the pain. Nanny is fragile. She has gone through many trials and hard times in her life. She had plans for her life and she is realizing that her life is coming to an end and she hasn’t accomplished all that she wanted.
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Inaudible:
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unable to hear– undrer pear tree- unable to find her identity
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Ecstatic:
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very exciting– joyful- self transcending— pear tree— excitment of identty
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Lacerate-
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make cuts or criticize forcefully and severally— describing janies first kiss- men are dangerous
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Desecrate-
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violating sacredness– disrespect)– (pear tree) (treating violently— nanny desecrate janies ideal version of love
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Ch3) why does Hurtston beging the chapter, \”there are years that ask questions and years that answer\” how does this shadow the events/themes in this chapter?
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To set the stage for the shadow and Janies identity and pursuit of dreams. It forsahdows becasue the question janie asks is if love comes with marriage and the next year she has the answer that it does not
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Discuss nanny’s attitude toward love. What can infer about her character from this? and why is love a \”prong\” that black women get \”hung on\”
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nanny believes that love is sustainability and security, we can infer that she has never had a secure past. Love is prong that black women get hung on because they’re so focused to love and they need security–She wants that kind of wealth for Janie and assumes that social status and worldly goods will automatically bring happiness.
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Why is nanny so fixated on Logan Killicks? What is the impact of his having a house, sixty acres, and the only organ in town
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becasue Logan brings security and sustainable and mooney for Janie. He has class and can suport janie
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describe the tone surrounding nannys death
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Infinite pain of slavery (basin of mind— thoughts without words—-gulf of formless feelings— SLAVERY . the tone is sorrowful- bitter- yet hopeful that janie will have a better life– depth of being— social politcal
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Cosmic
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definition-relating to the universe sentence-\”Did marriage end the cosmic loneliness of the unmated(38)?\”
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Mien
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mien definition- a person’s look or manner sentence-”Nanny sent Janie along with a stern mien(41).\” (attitude)
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what can you infer about Janie and Logan marriage from the mule- buying episode?
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that Logan thinks that Janie should do what is expected of her but Janie has independence and they do not love each other(higharchy) Janie= mule
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Again Janies hair is a central imagine in the book… what is its purpsoe
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her hair was \”heavy\”— hair symbolized power and journey for identity– sexual — unconverntal identity
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Why does Hurtson repeat Joes, \”big voice\” wish? What type of character is she building
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he wants power– mayor— attention he WANTS POWER it forshadows the type of maraige he will have with Janie
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Examine the imagrey surrounding Janie and Joe’s meeting: If joe does not \”represent sun-up and pollen and blooming trees, but he spoke for the far horizon\” why does Janie go ith him?what vhanged if anything? What is the tone
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Janie is attracted to him and wants to find love and she is attracted to what he prepresents and wants to leave her current marriage The tone is content
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how does hurtson use the porch at the end of chapter 4?
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Janie uses the porch as a setting of her love with Joe– common ground
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Sodden-
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saturated with liquid (soaking) (dull, drunk, heavy, bloated) WET– sodden definition- saturated with liquid; soaked through sentence- \”She had come back from the sodden and the bloated (17).\”
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Relish-
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pleasurable appreciation of anything; liking: \”swallowed (mind)with relish\”– Vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment.
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Scorched
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– Burn the surface of something (burn)– \”rice was scorched\”
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Revelation-
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a surprising and previously unknown fact, especially one that is made known in a dramatic way. (disclosure)
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Monstropolous
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– large; very big (monstrous)— forgetfullness – TIME– time is large and it stops \”Time makes everything old so the kissing, young darkness became a monstropolous old thing while Janie talked\”
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Inaudible:
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unable to hear– undrer pear tree- unable to find her identity
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Ecstatic:
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very exciting– joyful- self transcending— pear tree— excitment of identty
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Lacerate-
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make cuts or criticize forcefully and severally— smashing open— describing janies first kiss- men are dangerous
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Desecrate-
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violating sacredness– disrespect)– (pear tree) (treating violently— nanny desecrate janies ideal version of love
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Cosmic
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definition-relating to the universe sentence-\”Did marriage end the cosmic loneliness of the unmated(38
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Mien
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mien definition- a person’s look or manner sentence-”Nanny sent Janie along with a stern mien(41).\” (attitude)
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when was the Harlem rennisance
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The Harlem Renaissance was the name given to the cultural, social, and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem between the end of World War I and the middle of the 1930s. During this period Harlem was a cultural center, drawing black writers, artists, musicians, photographers, poets, and scholars. 1920’s- 30’s
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goals of the Harlem renaissance (5)
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– Establish a new black cultural identity — to respond to the social conditions of african americans -to place greater emphasis on black folk culture -To provide political and social uplift for african americans through social programs such as the NAACP – foundation for the civil rights movement
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Common themes of the ahrlem renisance writers (4)
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-allientation -marginality – use of folk matter -use of blues tradition
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The harlem renniance was more than jsut a literary movemnt it also: (6)
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-included raical conciousnes -back to \”africa\” movement -racial integration -explosion of jazz and blues music painints -dramatic revirws
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who published Teheri eyes were watching god and when
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1977 and Alice walker
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where and how long did Zora write the book
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7 weeks in haiti
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what event is this book really highlighted and the harlem renisance effect by
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the first great migration— 1.6 million
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what was the harlem rennisance a response to
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the great migration
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key issues in their eyes were watching god
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janies search to find ehr identity— escape from men -1st modern femisnt text of A/A
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what does Hurston do very well
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reginal dialect to form realsism of society in the south
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6 key themes and symbols of their eyes
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janies hair pear tree horizon mule hurricane chair

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