35 Their Eyes Were Watching God quotes from the Iconic Novel

These Their Eyes Were Watching God quotes will help you to think deeper about the role love plays in our lives and how we show and receive it.

Dave Chapelle once joked that it is always difficult to be the first African American to breach any field and achieve excellence.

Nora Neale Hurston wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God in 1937, making her one of the first published African American female voices of the twentieth century.

Hurston’s novel is an important piece of American literature.

Her genius as a writer revolutionized the game as it was extremely uncommon for Black female writers to get published, and rare for their work to contain Black women as the heroines and main characters.

She was penning complex and rich narratives of Black women and relationships sixty years before Sex and the City, Living Single or Girlfriends.

This is a novel about a woman’s search for love and the journey she took to find it.

These fifty Their Eyes Were Watching God quotes address everything from love, gender, mortality, creativity, appearances, connectivity, relationships, and a wide range of topics.

Don’t forget to also check out these Beloved quotes to inspire faith and transformation.

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Browse our entire collection of inspirational quotes for more motivating ideas and concepts.

Important quotes from Their Eyes Were Watching God

1. “They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.”

Important quotes from Their Eyes Were Watching God

2. “Some people could look at a mud puddle and see an ocean with ships.”

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3. “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”

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4. “Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”

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5. “It was not death she feared. It was misunderstanding.”

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6. “Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.”

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7. “She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her.”

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8. “She had an inside and an outside now and suddenly she knew how not to mix them.”

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9. “He looked like the love thoughts of women.”

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10. “She had waited all her life for something, and it had killed her when it found her.”

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11. “It was the meanest moment of eternity.”

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12. “Things lak dat (age) got uh whole lot tuh do wid convenience, but it ain’t got nothin’ tuh do wid love.”

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13. “An envious heart makes a treacherous ear. They done ‘heard’ bout just what they hope done happened.”

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14. “He could be a bee to a blossom—a pear tree blossom in the spring”.

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15. “She didn’t read books so she didn’t know that she was the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop.”

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16. “But any man who walks in the way of power and property is bound to meet hate.”

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17. “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.”

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18. “Thank yuh fuh yo’ compliments, but mah wife don’t know nothin’ ’bout no speech-makin’.”

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19. “You done lived wid me for twenty years and you don’t half know me atall.”

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20. “The familiar people and things had failed her so she hung over the gate and looked up the road towards way off. She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman.”

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Their Eyes Were Watching God quotes and passages

21. “…she starched and ironed her face, forming it into just what people wanted to see…”

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22. “It is so easy to be hopeful in the daytime when you can see the things you wish on. But it was night, it stayed night.”

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23. “Oh to be a pear tree – any tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the beginning of the world!”

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24. “No hour is ever eternity, but it has its right to weep.”

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25. “Love is like the sea. It’s a moving thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from the

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shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore.”

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26. “It was funny if you looked at it right quick, but it got pitiful if you thought about it awhile.” ― Zora Neale Hurston

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27. “Her old thoughts were going to come in handy now, but new words would have to be made and said to fit them.” — Zora Neale Hurston

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28. “he did not represent sun-up and pollen and blooming trees, but he spoke for far horizon.” ― Zora Neale Hurston

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29. “You’se something tuh make uh man forgit to git old and forgit tuh die.“ —  Zora Neale Hurston

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30. “The varicolored cloud dust that the sun has stirred up in the sky was settling by slow degrees.” ― Zora Neale Hurston

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31. “Sometimes she stuck out into the future, imagining her life different from what is was.” ― Zora Neale Hurston

32. “Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.” — Zora Neale Hurston

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33. “So she sat on the porch and watched the moon rise. Soon its amber fluid was drenching the earth, and quenching the thirst of the day.” — Zora Neale Hurston

34. “Some of dese mornin’s and it won’t be long, you gointuh wake up callin’ me and Ah’ll be gone.” ― Zora Neale Hurston

35. “The room inside looked like the mouth of an alligator—gaped wide open to swallow something down.” ― Zora Neale Hurston

If you enjoy this article, check out our collection of A Tale of Two Cities quotes from the iconic novel.

What did you learn from these Their Eyes Were Watching God quotes?

We live in a world where her story is often overlooked and the accomplishments of Black women are purposefully obscured.

Unfortunately, much of Zora’s work was passed over during her active years as a writer.

Hurston was ahead of her time, and the majority of the acknowledgment and recognition she received was offered posthumously.

It is well known that fellow legendary writer Alice Walker literally searched and found Hurston’s unmarked grave and helped reintroduce her work in the 1970s.

Her legacy serves as a testament to the efforts and determination of Black women, while also demonstrating how the hurdles of misogyny and xenophobia may interfere, but they cannot stop determined women.

In the face of all of the obstacles, Hurston was able to carve a lane for herself as one of our nation’s skilled writers and a proud voice for Black women during a time where their voice was silenced.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Their Eyes Were Watching God quotes and lines?

Do you have any other favorite quotes to add?

Let us know in the comment section below.

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  1. Janice

    July 11, 2022 at 4:17 PM

    I am looking for her words They worked as mules, but when they sat down to talk on their porches,
    their mouths spoke like Gods. I would like to know the exact words.

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