While not strictly an autobiographical novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God is set largely in Eatonville, FL, the town Zora Neale Hurston herself grew up in, and noted for being one of the few all-African American towns in the US when it was incorporated in 1887. It is in Eatonville that Janie lives with Jody and to Eatonville that she returns to her story with Pheoby.

How is the setting integral to the book? Do you think the same story could have taken place somewhere else?

Related links of interest:

Zora! Festival: the annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities, sponsored by the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community

St. Lucie County also holds its own ZoraFest annually

Zora Neale Hurston’s Fort Pierce home in St. Lucie County is listed as a National Historic Landmark.

Zora Neale Hurston Dust Tracks Heritage Trail (click on the tour markers for a virtual tour)


One response to “Setting

  1. The setting in Their Eyes Were Watching God includes the language and rhythm of speech, as I comment in my blog entry:!

    Dialect books are out of style just now and Hurston’s use of it may be a deterrent to today’s reader. I note your recent comments about books not appreciated by the critics at the time of publication. Some critics liked Hurston’s book, but some black writer were offended by it because they saw the dialect as demeaning to their literary accomplishments.

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