Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960)

    Contributing Editor: Robert Hemenway

    Classroom Issues and Strategies

    While there are no particular difficulties in teaching Hurston, some students find the dialect hard to understand. To address this problem, I usually read several passages aloud to help students get a "feel" for the voices. Once they've heard Hurston read aloud, they can create her characters' speech in their minds so that it is understandable.

    Major Themes, Historical Perspectives, and Personal Issues

    Women's issues

    Race issues

    Interface between oral and written literature

    Significant Form, Style, or Artistic Conventions

    Short story structure

    Representations of an oral culture

    Original Audience

    Always a complex issue when postulating the audience of a black writer.

    Comparisons, Contrasts, Connections

    Langston Hughes

    Alice Walker