Friday, February 13, 2009

Appreciating Language

From the first line Zora Neale Hurston displays great a great apptitude for the English language. My favorite passage so far is the opening passage, "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing undil the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by time" (1). The imagry and use of medaphore in the opening phrases alone is amazing. In this quote Hurston describes how men hang on to their dreams, however futile they may be. She uses both a metaphore and personification to make her point. Hurston's ability to describe how men are always wishful and never give up on lost dreams shows that she is very intellegent and has a way with words. Another example of Hurston's way with words is, "The sun was gone, but he had left his footprints in the sky." The great writing prowess Hurston shows is only intensified when she adds dialogue. The charactors in her novel clearly lack a solid education so their manner of speaking is very poor. For example, "What dat ole forty year ole 'oman doin' wid her hair swingin' down her back lak some young gal? [...] Betcha he off wid some gal so young she ain't even got no hairs" (2). Hurston's ability to switch immediately from a very elegant narration to a clearly uneducated and very course dialect of southern English is amazing. She shows a great knowledge of southern dialect as well as a mastery of the english language. It shows that Hurston has a very versitile voice and a vast knowledge of the different social classes.
The picture of Two Face from bat man represents Hurston's ability to switch voices easily. In one sentence she may be using very eloquent language and in the next her writing switches to an uneducated person from the deep south.

1 comment:

  1. I agree Hurston's language is beautiful and one you get used to you stop noticing the language. It would be cool if more books were written like that. Also her word choice really gets her point across. BTW you have a typo in the first sentance :).