Title

The Mules of the World: Zora Neale Hurston’s Underlying Metaphor

Subject Area

Women and Gender Studies

Abstract

The Harlem Renaissance became a phenomenon marking more than just an African American writing poetry and stories. It symbolized black liberation and sophistication. Consequently, the black writers of the Harlem Renaissance were faced with a difficult position, deciding which audience to address – white America or the black brothers. One such writer was Zora Neale Hurston. Hurston emerged as a black woman writer during this time, trying to escape the constraints of both a white audience and a conservative black one. She focused on the folk culture of the black community and the richness of her people’s figurative language. Throughout her works, Mules and Men and Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston shows not only the motivations of the time period but also the racial and sexual oppression of black people, identifying the black woman as the mule of the black man.

Brief Bio Note

Amelia Simmons has been employed at East Georgia State College since 2011. She has been an educator for sixteen years, instructing students on the secondary and post-secondary level. She also teaches eCore English courses for University of West Georgia. When not devoting her time to teaching, she is busy raising her six-year-old son, Bryce, and being active in her community with Statesboro Southern Cruisers Car Club where she shows her car for local charity benefits to assist young children in need.

Keywords

Black English Dialect; Harlem Renaissance; mule; metaphor; oppression; folk culture; Mules and Men; Their Eyes Were Watching God

Location

Room 210

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-24-2017 9:15 AM

Embargo

11-4-2016

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Mar 24th, 9:15 AM

The Mules of the World: Zora Neale Hurston’s Underlying Metaphor

Room 210

The Harlem Renaissance became a phenomenon marking more than just an African American writing poetry and stories. It symbolized black liberation and sophistication. Consequently, the black writers of the Harlem Renaissance were faced with a difficult position, deciding which audience to address – white America or the black brothers. One such writer was Zora Neale Hurston. Hurston emerged as a black woman writer during this time, trying to escape the constraints of both a white audience and a conservative black one. She focused on the folk culture of the black community and the richness of her people’s figurative language. Throughout her works, Mules and Men and Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston shows not only the motivations of the time period but also the racial and sexual oppression of black people, identifying the black woman as the mule of the black man.