"Rumor, that wingless bird, had shadowed over the town." (84)
When I was looking over my notes for TEWWG, I noticed I had taken down this quote. The personification Hurston displays in her writing is phenominal and this is a prime example. Of course, rumors aren't tangible things, and wingless birds cannot fly, but the way Hurston shows the upcoming death of Joe, makes it all seem very possible. A bird of course can fly, anywhere and everywhere. The rumor of the impending death also spread everywhere in town, making people flock to the big house to find out the real story for themselves. A wingless bird, however, provides the image of something unnatural, something unbelievable. Joe Stark's death was exactly this. Joe, though he had many faults, still made the town what it was. He built it from the ground up and made it thrive. The fact that such an inflential man was dying was such an odd and unnatural notion, that it alarmed the townsfolk. When Hurston describes it as a shadow over the town, you can almost sense the darkness of the whole idea. It is almost like the calm before the storm where you know something bad is going to happen, but you dont know when it is going to come along. The shadow shows that something is coming, it is in the town's presence, but has yet to make itself known. It is like a terrible sense of foreshadowing in that way. The fact that it covers the whole town really shows the significance of such an event.
(By the way, after some research, I have discovered that a wingless bird actually exists. Its called a Kiwi Bird. Interesting.)