2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Gender and Race in Second Class Citizen and Their Eyes Were Watching God
Jessica M. Jenkot
Dr. Bob Mielke, Faculty Mentor

Their Eyes Were Watching God, written by Zora Neale Hurston, is the story of a young black American woman, Janie, who desires love in a marriage of equality. Buchi Emecheta's autobiographical Second Class Citizen follows the life of Adah, a twentieth century young Nigerian woman who dreams to become an educated Englishwoman. Janie and Adah's lives are separated by years and an ocean, but are more strongly united by their race, gender, and determination to succeed. This paper combines the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis with Rachel Blau DuPlessis' idea of a feminist culture study and Maurice Merleau-Ponty's definition of an object's reality to result in an analysis of both race and gender while acknowledging the culture in which the characters exist to examine the struggles of black women in a white male dominated society.

Keywords: Their Eyes Were Watching God, Second Class Citizen, feminst cultural studies, race


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 4-1
Location: VH 1324
Time: 8:00

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