Zora Neale Hurston – Sense of Self Sample Essay

In the essay “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” Zora Neale Hurston recalls her upbringing in an all black town. and her move to a largely white town in the bosom of racialist Alabama.

The writer is exposed to racism and through the interaction school of symbolic interaction ; she feels above the ignorance of society and negotiates her sense of ego as a adult female instead than as a coloured individual. The interaction school describes how the writer has an active function in make up one’s minding who she is. When coloured people Hurston knows are determining his or her sense of ego around their sensed race individuality. she doesn’t follow their lead and shapes her ain individuality.

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Hurston had lived in an all coloured town but had ne’er thought twice about whether she was any different than the white people that rode through her little Florida town. She thought “white people differed from colored people to me merely in that they rode through town and ne’er lived there” ( 36 ) . Hurston’s fellow African American neighbours were leery of northern white people but did non hold the local white people to deserve a individual glimpse when they passed. The specific consequences of racism are what concern Hurston. The interaction school of symbolic interaction applies here as Hurston chooses to interact with white people go throughing through the town as if they were no different.

All of the other people in Eatonville. Florida distance themselves from the Whites that pass through. but Hurston interacts with them as is they are no different than her neighbours in her eyes.Hurston says. “I remember the really twenty-four hours that I became coloured. ” Up until she was 13 old ages old. Hurston had ne’er been exposed to the thought of racism. She left for school in Jacksonville.

Mississippi. For the first clip. Zora Neale Hurston was exposed to the racism that was non found in her little hometown. Hurston states that “Slavery is the monetary value I paid for civilisation. and the pick was non with me” ( 37 ) . The writer eventually realizes what racism is.

and that it is a really powerful force. But she comes to the decision that racism doesn’t bother her. “But I am non tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my psyche. nor skulking behind my eyes” ( 36 ) .

here Hurston shows that her race does non trouble oneself her. The interaction school applies here because Hurston is exposed to racism. but does non allow it impact her sense of ego.One consequence she sees is the loss of cultural pride. Bing the “only Negro in the United States whose gramps on the mother’s side was non an Indian chief” ( 35 ) exemplifies her sorrow that members of her ain race are non able to experience the pride and joy that she does in observing her heritage.

She decides that because she can non suit in with this group. she decides to specify herself as a Woman instead than an African American. This is a all right illustration of the construct of Symbolic Interaction. She feels that she fits in better with adult females as a group. than coloured people. Hurston decides non to distance herself from her African American civilization.

and decides to specify herself as a adult female. She states. “I belong to no race nor time” ( 38 ) .Hurston feels that race does non impact the individual that she is. Hurston uses an analogy to depict that inside people are all the same. She states that. “Sometimes. I feel discriminated against.

but it does non do me angry. It simply astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasance of my company! It’s beyond me” ( 38 ) .

This quotation mark shows that Hurston is above racism. She realizes that it is at that place and chooses non to allow it act upon her sense of ego. She decides who she finally is and chooses non to allow race act upon her determination.


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