Narrative vs. Quotational Language

“Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone. Dawn and doom was in the branches” (8).

“Ah ain’t never seen mah papa. And Ah didn’t know ‘im if Ah did. Mah mama neither. She was gone from round dere long before Ah quz big enough tuh know…” (8).

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006. Print.

It is interesting to consider the differences in language in narration and Janie’s direct quotations; the narration makes use of complex metaphors and somewhat lofty language, whereas Janie’s quotations are written in a dialect that is simple and makes her seem uneducated. Considering this, the narration then seems important as a way to force the reader to consider Janie¬†beyond her simple way of speaking and to consider her as a more complex, intelligent, and thoughtful person.