Zora Neale Hurston encorperates elements of her background into Their Eyes Were Watching God. A few of the more obveous ones are Nanny and Janie's love of freedom. Janie is raised by her grandmother, Nanny, because her mom became an alchoholic and left. Nanny acted as a mother figure for Janie's whole childhood. Hurston's grandmother also lived with her and her family and acted motherly towards Hurston. In her autobiography Hurston recalls that it was her grandmother who scolded her for hitching rides down the road with white people. Hurston's grandmother is reflected in Hurston's character, Nanny.
Zora Neale Hurston's love of freedom is apparent from a very early age. As a child she would sit on her fence and catch rides with white people as they drove down the rode. Later in life she took pride in wearing pants instead of skirts and smoking in public, all of which almost unheard of at the time. Also, just being a part of the Harlem Rennisance showes that Hurston does not adhere to social rules. Hurston is happy to be free of the social guidelines that are placed upon her as an African American woman.mJanie expresses her love of freedom in the end of chapter nine. She says to her friend Pheoby, "'Tain't dad Ah worries over Joe's death, Pheoby. Ah jus' loves dis freedom" (93). This excerpt expresses Janie's relief that she is finally free of men, having lost her second husband. Both Hurston and Janie are very independent women who have a common love for freedom.
Both Hurston and Janie also have several marriages. Hurston had several marriages, all of which ended for various reasons, just like Janie who has so far had two marriages end and the first chapter of the novel gives the reader the idea she will marry Tea Cake and that will end too.
Zora Neale Hurston encorperates herself into her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God through Janie.