Rejection of Their Eyes Were Watching God.
In 1937, Zora Neale Hurston's novel Their Eyes Were Watching God was published for the first time. It was over three decades later, in 1973, when the novel was "rediscovered" by Alice Walker, a novelist. Since the time when Walker wrote a magazine article about Hurston, the novel sold over one million copies. In 1937, the book "sold fewer than 5,000 copies"(Holmes, 2). What was it, in particular, that during Hurston's time made the novel such a bad seller? Reviews made the novel a fast-forgotten piece of fiction. Bad reviews were given to the book mostly by black intellectuals. Richard Wright delivered the harshest words about the novel. He said that Their Eyes Were Watching God carries ""no theme, no message, no thought""(Haddox, 1). Other critics complained that the book contained too much feminism and racism. Hurston presented the issues ahead of her time.
Feminism is a movement to win equal rights for women. In Hurston's book, Janie, the main character, tries hard to find her place in the world. She has a dream of a perfect life, where a woman and a man share joy in a marriage. Throughout the book, Janie seeks a husband who would respect her as a woman. A husband who would allow her to be who she wants to be. Hurston's book does not have a clear resolution, because at the end, the reader doesn't find out what happens to Janie. The reader never finds out if Janie continues her search in finding her soul mate. .
Janie stays silent most of the time in conversations held by the town folks. Janie either finds power in staying silent, or she is put to silence by her first and second husbands. Janie's first marriage to Logan is a forced marriage. Logan forbids her doing physical work. He says that Janie was not made for labor, and that her place is in a kitchen. Janie's second husband, Jody, treats her like she is his property. He also forbids her doing a man's physical work.