International Journal of English Literature and Culture

International Journal of English Literature and Culture

Vol. 3(6), pp. 168-176, June, 2015

 ISSN: 2360-7831

DOI: 10.14662/IJELC2015.047

Research Paper

Subverting and Deconstructing Gender and Social Norms in Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God


Sepideh Hozhabrossadat


Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran. E-mail: Sepideh_hozhabrossadat@yahoo.com


Accepted 10 June 2015




This study intends to survey Janie Crawford, the female protagonist of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston, focusing on the sexuality as one part of her identity formation. It then moves to depict the plot of Janie's journey from object to subject by focusing on Janie's life, beginning from childhood and ending at the point when she is matured. The paper also aims to demonstrate how Janie Crawford begins as a docile object and becomes an autonomous being, or a subject. With this in mind the sexual system constructed by a patriarchal society is challenged and deconstructed by means of subverting the customized values and ideologies. Away from using cultural studies, African-American literary theories and feminism, the main emphasis rests on Hurston’s theories of identity and her feministic viewpoints and Julia Kristeva’s notion of the speaking being, Foucault's power and also many African-American women theorists like Alice Walker. Therefore, a close reading of Zora’s masterpiece Their Eyes and her own viewpoints will follow.


Key Words: Sexuality, African-American, Feminism, Community, Objectification, Patriarchy


Cite This Article As: Hozhabrossadat S (2015). Subverting and Deconstructing Gender and Social Norms in Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. Inter. J. Eng. Lit. Cult. 3(6): 168-176



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