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“But their eyes were watching God.”

Before my review of Their Eyes Were Watching God tomorrow, I thought I’d share one more beautiful passage from the book.

Janie Crawford and her husband are living near the Everglades in Florida when a hurricane comes through. They board up in a building with several others who didn’t leave town.

“They huddled closer and stared at the door. They just didn’t use another part of their bodies, and they didn’t look at anything but the door. The time was past for asking the white folks what to look for through that door. Six eyes were questioning God. Through the screaming wind they heard things crashing and things hurtling and dashing with unbelievable velocity.”

A few paragraphs later…

“The wind came back with triple fury, and put out the light for the last time. They sat in company with the others in other shanties, their eyes straining against crude walls and their souls asking if He meant to measure their puny might against His. They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.”

You’ll notice the title in that last sentence.

Zora Neale Hurston’s writing is simply beautiful. I don’t know how else to say it. She’s visual and poetic and emotional and philosophical. A lot of great writers are a good at one or two of those, but she does it all.

I can see myself there in that dark room, watching the door, waiting on the full force of that hurricane to arrive, wondering if this is “my time” and God is ready to take me away. She captures that moment of fear and uncertainty so well.

Obviously, I loved Their Eyes Were Watching God. My review is coming tomorrow.

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13 Comments Post a comment
  1. I can’t wait! 🙂

    Like

    March 4, 2014
  2. I just put this on my library list — before I saw your post. It will move to the top of my “read this next” list now! It is on sale for Kindle right now, I believe for $1.99 if anyone out there is interested in Kindle bargains.

    Like

    March 4, 2014
  3. Lucille #

    I’m reading (third time in 30 years) with you and the most memorable passage this time was after Jody struck her for an unsuccessful dinner: “Janie stood where he left her for unmeasured time and thought. She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her. Then she went inside her to see what it was. It was her image of Jody tumbled down and shattered….” And hearkening back to the image of the maturing blossoms.at the beginning of the book, it continues with “She had no more blossomy openings dusting pollen over her man, neither any glistening young fruit where the petals used to be…She had an inside and an outside now and suddenly she knew how not to mix them.”.

    For humor, it has to be the front porch philosophy discussions of Sam and Lige. But I think one has to be at a certain age to know what Sam and Lige are talking about when during their banter they refer to the “great big old scoundrel-beast up there at Hall’s fillin’ station….”

    Like

    March 4, 2014
  4. deweydecimalsbutler #

    The passage where we’re introduced to Mrs. Turner is just amazing to me – such powerful Biblical imagery.

    Like

    March 4, 2014
  5. I loved this book too. Rarely does a book have the power to make me gasp, but this one sure did. I think you know the passage I’m talking about. I wasn’t expecting it, and yet Janie did what she had to do when the time came to do it.

    Like

    March 4, 2014
  6. I have this book queued up to read after my current reads are finished, so I’ll bookmark your review and come back when I’m done reading. I don’t want to influence my own thinking on the book!

    Such lovely quotes. I have dreaded this book for years, as I was afraid it would be too devastating emotionally. But I’m looking forward to it more and more lately.

    Like

    March 4, 2014
  7. Looking forward to the review!

    Like

    March 4, 2014
  8. Liz #

    You’re making me think I owe this book a re-read. I read it in school days and remember rushing through it. Think I was too young to appreciate it.

    Like

    March 5, 2014
  9. jwcgd23 #

    Reblogged this on Lita's Corner.

    Like

    March 6, 2014
  10. Good idea to read a list of recommended books. Random reads in between might be fun too! Enjoy all of it, the list must be good if it has Their Eyes Were Watching God.

    Like

    March 9, 2014
  11. You’re currently reading Possession….it’s like two treats, two writers in one, isn’t? Wonderful!

    Like

    March 9, 2014

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