Objective: One of the ways Zora Neale Hurston makes the story real is by writing the characters' dialogue just as they would speak it. The objective of this lesson is to explore how using dialect can enhance writing.
1) Activity: Divide the class into small groups and assign each group a few lines of dialogue from Chapter 1. Have each group rewrite the dialogue the way they would say it if they were talking with friends.
2) Class discussion: Does the way the characters in Chapter 1 speak make it difficult to understand what they are saying? Does it make it easier? Do the characters seem more interesting because of the way they talk? Why do you think the author chose to write the dialogue this way?
3) Class discussion: A large part of the dialect in Chapter 1 is the colloquialisms and metaphors the characters use. For example, Janie compliments Pheoby's cooking...
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