Critique on Alice Walker essay on "Their Eyes Were Watching God"

996 WordsMar 4, 20094 Pages
A Critique on Alice Walker’s Two Essays: “Looking For Zora,” and “Zora Neale Hurston: A Cautionary Tale and Partisan View” One can hardly speak of Alice Walker without referring to Zora Neale Hurston in the same breath. Many critics have observed the literary, cultural and spiritual similarities between these two black female writers. In fact, a collection of essays, Alice Walker and Zora Neale Hurston: The Common Bond, was published on this very subject. Alice Walker first created this intertwining connection between her and Zora Neale Hurston partly based on being black and being a woman. So, it would be interesting to explore how Walker uses this blackness to her advantage. Even the very title of Walker’s essay “Zora Neale Hurston: A Cautionary Tale and Partisan View,” intimates that she goes beyond being a mere Hurston enthusiast, she’s a fervent supporter. The word partisan indicates more. For example, it can also be taken to mean Walker is aligning herself to Hurston in terms of being female, a writer, but also, a sister in blackness. Hurston had this to say in Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Casebook: I dislike insincerity, and most particularly when it vaunts itself to cover up cowardice. Pessimists and grouches and sycophants I do despise. (18) At any rate, the title suggests that Walker isn’t about to delve anywhere near objectivity in her essay. She’s taking a stance. (Interestingly, Zora Neale Hurston, being an anthropologist, might have looked upon this essay with her eyebrows raised. Anthropology is a field which attempts to encompass a completely objective point of view.) When reading Walker’s essay on Hurston, we realize very soon that this is, indeed, a very personal viewpoint based on the color of her and Hurston’s skin among other things. The very first paragraph of Walker’s essay has our

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