Hurston Metaphysics Essay

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Zora Neale Hurston believes that all struggles to realize personal goals are futile due to the unknowable forces that control reality. She believes that these unknowable forces are controlled by God and that He has an omnipotent presence in the lives of human beings. Therefore, all events are ultimately dictated by the arbitrary whims of God. This metaphysical view of reality is manifested in her novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Implicit and explicit forms of her philosophy are not only present throughout the novel, but they are essential to the novel's development as well.

The explicit form of her philosophy is stated in the following passage: "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. For some they come in with the
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She basically prefaces the novel by stating her view of man and then telling a story that affirms this assertion. Since her philosophy plays such a key role in her novel, it is important to analyze the cause of her views in order to better understand the views portrayed in Their Eyes.

Hurston was born into a hierarchical system that was racially dominated by whites. Hence, black people were not recognized by authoritative figures as being equal. Therefore, black citizens were legally oppressed by their white counterparts. This meant that an entire race had a monopoly on prosperity. Black men and women were faced with an impossible struggle to achieve prominence in their current social system. It is obvious that Hurston was surrounded by the idea that achieving one's dreams is outside one's personal control.

In addition to being oppressed because of her race, Hurston also had to face the many inequities of being a woman in a male dominated society. At the time, women were still believed to be inferior to men. This belief created a society in which men and women had very distinct roles. Traditionally, the men would work and provide the financial support in order to live. While women, on the other hand, would maintain the home and fulfill physical desires for her husband. This system was widely accepted by society which made it very difficult to transcend these social norms. In effect, women had a hard time finding work that was

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