Tag Archives: slavery

“The Big House”

“The rest of the town looked like servants’ quarters surrounding the “big house”. And different from everybody else in the town he put off moving in until it had been painted, in and out. And look at the way he painted it- a gloat, sparkly white.”

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006. Print. 47

The fact that this passage is focalized by the narrator gives the affect that the narrator is speaking the popular opinion of the townsfolk. This passage is centered around class distinction and separation, as shown by the act of painting the house. The narrator explicitly states, “different from everyone else in town” in order to single out Jody as being akin to grandeur, showing tendencies of a higher class. Plus the fact that the townspeople refer to Jody’s house as the “big house” and the emphasis on it being painted “gloaty, sparkly white” are both allusions to the days of slavery.