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


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  • 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")

  • He looked like the love thoughts of women.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • She had an inside and an outside now and suddenly she knew how not to mix them.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • Well, she thought, that big old dawg with the hatred in his eyes had killed her after all.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • He was the average mortal. It troubled him to get used to the world one way and then suddenly have it turn different.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • She had waited all her life for something, and it had killed her when it found her.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • When God had made The Man, he made him out of stuff that sung all the time and glittered all over. Some angels got jealous and chopped him into millions of pieces, but still he glittered and hummed. So they beat him down to nothing but sparks but each little spark had a shine and a song. So they covered each one over with mud. And the lonesomeness in the sparks make them hunt for one another.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • Her old thoughts were going to come in handy now, but new words would have to be made and said to fit them.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • She tore off the kerchief from her head and let down her plentiful hair. The weight, the length, the glory was all there. She took careful stock of herself, then combed her hair and tied it back up again.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")

  • When Janie looked out of her door she saw the drifting mists gathered in the west -- that cloud field of the sky -- to arm themselves with thunders and march forth against the world. Louder and higher and lower and wider the sound and motion spread, mounting, sinking, darking.
    (Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God")


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