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Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” Quotes (42 Quotes)


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  • Ah done lived Grandma's way, now Ah means tuh live mine.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • Of course he wasn't dead. He could never be dead until she herself had finished feeling and thinking. The kiss of his memory made pictures of love and light against the wall. Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • The spirit of the marriage left the bedroom and took to living in the parlor.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • All gods who receive homage are cruel. All gods dispense suffering without reason. Otherwise they would not be worshipped. Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion. It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom. Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • Oh to be a pear tree - any tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the beginning of the world!
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")


  • There is a basin in the mind where words float around on thought and thought on sound and sight. Then there is a depth of thought untouched by words, and deeper still a gulf of formless feelings untouched by thought.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • And I can't die easy thinking maybe the menfolks white or black is making a spit cup out of you. Have some sympathy for me. Put me down easy, Janie, I'm a cracked plate.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • Please God, please suh, don't let him love nobody else but me. Maybe Ah'm is uh fool, Lawd, lak dey say, but Lawd, Ah been so lonesome, and Ah been waitin', Jesus. Ah done waited uh long time.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • There was already something dead about him. He didn't rear back in his knees any longer. He squatted over his ankles when he walked. That stillness at the back of his neck. His prosperous-looking belly…sagged like a load suspended from his loins.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • For the first time she could see a man's head naked of its skull. Saw the cunning thoughts race in and out through the caves and promontories of his mind long before they darted through the tunnel of his mouth.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • She couldn't make him look just like any other man to her. He looked like the love thoughts of women. He could be a bee to a blossom - a pear tree blossom in the spring. He seemed to be crushing scent out of the world with his footsteps. Crushing aromatic herbs with every step he took. Spices hung above him. He was a glance from God.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • They bowed down to him rather, because he was all of these things, and then again he was all of these things because the town bowed down.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • From barren brown stems to glistening leaf-buds; from the leaf-buds to snowy virginity of bloom…It was like a flute song forgotten in another existence and remembered again. What? How? Why? This singing she heard that had nothing to do with her ears. The rose of the world was breathing out smell. It followed her through all her waking moments and caressed her in her sleep.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • She didn't read books so she didn't know that she was the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • They plan and they fix and they do, and then some kitchen-dwelling fiend slips a scorchy, soggy, tasteless mess into their pots and pans…So when the bread didn't rise, and the fish wasn't quite done at the bone, and the rice was scorched, he slapped Janie until she had a ringing sound in her ears and told her about her brains before he stalked on back to the store.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")


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