Discuss Janie’s relationships with men, her various husbands and lovers. Do you see particular trends, behaviors, and assumptions on either Janie’s part or from the men with whom she becomes involved? You may consider Higgenbotham’s essay about the precept of inferiority. How do concepts of inferiority and superiority play out in certain relationships, such as Janie’s relationships with various husbands/lovers? How are these relationships formed and informed by ideas about who is better, in terms of power and in controlling one’s self, and ideas about the supposedly essential natures of men and women?
Consider a theme you see appearing in both Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Their Eyes Were Watching God. What is this theme? How does it play out in the narratives? Why is it important? Possible themes include those about women and race, black women’s roles and assumed responsibilities, and black women’s rights and power (especially over their own bodies). Discuss examples from each text to support your discussion of your chosen theme.
Discuss Their Essay Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, by applying one of the concepts found in the essays for this week. Choose one to two scenes from the novel for your discussion.