Writing Techniques in Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Hurston skillfully balances the third-person narrative voice with realistic conversation in the rural black dialect. Structurally, Janie's storytelling to Pheoby frames the novel. Like bookends, the first and last chapters allow the narrative to flash back and then come full circle. The movement of the novel then spirals outward with Pheoby's promise to grow from her friend's experiences and with Janie's reaching out to the horizon.

Language soars to express the amazing journey to selfhood. One of the remarkable aspects in Their Eyes Were Watching God is the realistic depiction of life as the writer knew it, for she had an ear for authentic speech rhythms in dialogue and for vividly realistic imagery. Hurston's lyrical beauty of language rings true with the power of words: "Words walking without masters; walking altogether like harmony in a song."

The richly evocative language of stories, songs, idioms, and figures of speech makes...

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This section contains 850 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Their Eyes Were Watching God Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Their Eyes Were Watching God from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.