Type: Literary Analysis
Pages: 2 | Words: 541
Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Zora Neale Hurston explores the world of women but she is very careful not to become too much prejudiced against men. She does this very well by opting to employ the omniscient narrative technique. Her choice of antithesis and chiasmus in her narrating technique enables her to choreograph a powerful narrative. This helps to avoid confusing the reader on whether the author is talking about herself or not. This opening paragraph of the novel gives insight to the whole novel. Women’s affairs take a central stage. Woman’s life, according to Zora. is like a narrative which is worth listening to. This becomes the subject of discussion of one woman and her friends thereby creating a witnessing atmosphere at the onset of the novel. In the history of man-kind, human beings have been known to misunderstand and misrepresent others. Reality implies that misunderstanding others is the highest level of injustice which should come to an end.

Antithesis is the stylistic technique of saying the exact opposite of something. Chiasmus is a form of antithesis which has been very popular among the ancient Hebrew. It presents two parts of a sentence. Here, the second part of the sentence tends to compliment the first part although it is inverted to create a bigger impact to the message conveyed. Zora has used them to present her beliefs and attitudes as an all-knowing narrator.

Zora starts by giving insights to the nature of men seducing the reader that she is set to discuss the men. This is a false hope. She unceremoniously shifts her attention to the world of women in a very artistic manner. She, for example, says, “That is the life of men. Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember”¦.” (Hurston 1). It is an interesting the fact that Zora does not seem to be apologetic for such a bold move. The novel from that onset tirelessly aim at representing the life of a woman who has been misrepresented. Further, the world of women seems to be big and complex. Defining it by what it is may be a limiting factor to her fantasies. It can only be defined by what it is not thereby throwing the reader in an abyss of guess work and retrospect. If Zora had chosen to say that women entertain the thoughts they choose and reject those that they despise, it could still have made some sense. But she willingly opted for the long chiasmus complexities.

The narrator tells us that the woman in question had just come from a burial. She quickly realizes that human mind is structured in a way to make judgements. It was not a burial of a friend; in an antithesis she corrects that she had come back from the sodden and the bloated. Is this not the exact opposite of what is indeed practical?

Zora therefore has not and will not embarrass our expectations. The story of this woman will be full of twists. It will disconfirm all the accusations that have been levelled against her. It will be a story of its kind since it has never been told before. If all this has been achieved by the style of antithesis and chiasmus, then truly the all-knowing narrative technique is a success.

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