Zora Neale Hurston was born in 1902 in Eatonville, Florida, the seventh child of tenant framers. When Hurston was nine, her mother’s death and her father’s speedy remarriage ended her childhood and left her in charge of her own life. Her passion for education took her to Howard University in Washington D.C, in 1918. While at Howard, Hurston began to write and to make contact with some of the leading figures of the Harlem Renaissance, a flowering of black literature and art in the New York of the 1920s. she eventually moved to New York, where she worked as secretary to the popular romantic writer Fannie Hurst and continued her studies at Barnard College.
A student of anthropology, Hurston devoted the five years following her graduation to the collection of rural book folklore in rhythms of speech and her daring in seeking initiation into many voodoo cults resulted in ethnographic studies such as Mules and Men, which conveyed the color and vigor of rural black culture.
Hurston married twice but found the demands of marriage incompatible with her career. She continues her fieldwork in Caribbean bur eventually following her most cherished calling, that of fiction writer. Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), a novel about a black woman finding happiness in simple farm life, is now her most famous book, although for thirty years after publication, it was largely unknown, unread, and dismissed by the male literary establishment. In this novel, Hurston gives us a heroic female character, Janie Crawford, who portrays autonomy, self-realization, and independence, while also being a romantic figure subordinate to a man. This novel reveals an African American woman writer struggling with the problem of the hero as woman and the difficulties of giving a woman character such courage and power in 1937.
From the beginning of her career, Hurston was criticized for not writing fiction in the protest tradition. Her conservative views on race relations put her out of touch with the temper of the times. She argued that integration would undermine the values and vitality of African American culture. Hurston died in poverty and obscurity in 1960, and it was only afterward that later generations of black and white Americans were to rediscover and revere her celebration of black culture and the black imagination.
1. What does the passage mainly discuss?
A. The novels of Zora Neale Hurston
B. The biography of an American writer
C. African American literature of the 1930s
D. Studies of rural black culture
2. What was the Harlem Renaissance?
A. A book of folklore by Zora Neale Hurston
B. A fashionable neighborhood in New York in the 1920s
C. A period of great accomplishment in art and literature
D. A famous garden in New York where artists and writers met
3. According to the passage, Hurston’s early career focused on
A. writing romantic fiction
B. making speeches about her initiation into voodoo cults
C. writing prospect fiction
D. studying black culture in the Caribbean and the American South
4. the word “autonomy” is closet in meaning to
A.freedom B. selfishness C. intelligence D. physical strength
5. In lines 14, 15, the author implies that A.Their Eye Were Watching God was a popular book in 1937
B.Hurston was not famous until she published her first book in 1937
C.Woman writers faced discrimination during the mid-twentieth century
D. Their Eye Were Watching God is an ethnographic study
6.The phrase “out of touch” means that
A.Hurston did not have much contact with other writers.
B.Hurston’s conservatism made many people angry.
C.Hurston’s opinions differed from those of most other people.
D.Hurston ignored the topic of race relations.
7.It can be concluded from lines 23-24 that
A.Hurston believed black culture would be weakened by racial integration.
B.critics did not write about Hurston’s protest writings.
C.late in her career, Hurston began to value racial integration.
D.Hurston believed integration would add vitality to black culture.
8.The word “revere” is closet in meaning to
A.analyze B. honor C. reread D. reconsider
9.The author attitude toward Hurston’s writings could be best described as
A.romantic B. respectful C. critical D. inconsistent
10. It can be inferred from the passage that
A. Hurston’s writings have largely been forgotten.
B. Hurston was well-known throughout her life.
C. Hurston’s books are required reading in American high schools.
D. Hurston was an independent thinker throughout her life.