The Litwits met Sunday at Katherine’s house and had a lovely time discussing Hurston’s classic novel. We may have had too much fun and gotten a little wild with our post-book convo! Always a pleasure to share laughter with these ladies and it’s what makes the group so fabulous. Can”t wait to celebrate 2 years next month!
Anyway – the book. TEWWG was not unanimously loved! I was shocked because it’s one of my favorite books of all time, but some of our group were really able to critique it well. For those who weren’t as enamored, they tended to see Janie as a very week protagonist – a woman who needed a man to help her make all her decisions and someone who didn’t have much of a backbone – someone who just kind of let stuff happen to her. We had a great debate about whether Janie was actually a strong, independent woman or not – with much discussion about the time period, racial issues, feminism, and the ultimate war of free will v. nature. We sounded quite brilliant, to be sure! And the next time I read Janie’s story, I’ll be looking at her a bit closer!
Also debated was Janie’s relationship with each of her three husbands and what idea of happiness they represented. She had stability, then prestige and money, and finally love and passion. All three things are said to bring happiness and yet only her final marriage of love and passion with Teacake seemed to actually accomplish anything resembling that happiness. And even then, most members weren’t thrilled with Janie and Teacake’s relationship at all. He did, after all, hit her.
What we all agreed on was how beautiful Hurston’s prose reads. She’s an amazing writer and was able to pack so much literary beauty into such a small novel. For her turn of phrase alone, everyone seemed to believe the novel was worth reading. Hurston’s own life was also discussed in great detail – she has a very interesting back history!
The rest of our evening was filled with wine, giggles, babies, and Vin Diesel. We were loud, crude, and had the best time. Our new members were lovely and we hope y’all come back! We’ve also come to realize that certain topics constantly find their way into every meetup – Twilight, fanfiction, and – wait for it – horse porn! Can’t wait ’til next month!
6 thoughts on “October Meetup: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston”
I still have not read any of this author’s work, and this is one that I have always wanted to read. I am glad that your book club agreed that this was full of beautiful prose. I have high hopes for this one. Thanks for the great review!
You almost can’t top Hurston’s writing. She’s just got such vivid imagery and amazingly smooth flow.
Janie’s interesting because she changed as the book progressed, and sometimes I was very critical of her decisions. By the end of the book, she had grown up and come into her own. Also, Tea Cake is one of my favorite book character names of all time.
Tea Cake is a fabulous name. And I agree about Janie growing over time – one of my favorite things about the book. But my book club did not agree. They really had some anger for Janie. It was an interesting conversation!
This book has been waiting for me for such a long time! I love the way you’ve broken it down here and all the different points your group discussed. I’m really looking forward to reading this. -Sarah
Such a good book, IMO.