Similarites between Alice Walker and Zora Neale Hurston
Alice Walker discovered Zora Neale Hurston when she needed some authentic material on voodoo practiced by blacks in the South in the 1930s. “The Revenge of Hannah Kemhuff” had so much impact on Walker, she wrote about it repeatedly. The Color Purple has many parallels to Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Walker highly valued the works of Hurston. Walker says about Hurston:
“Hurston was exposing not simply an adequate culture but a superior one.”
Both authors have extremely similar themes, main characters, and attitudes toward women, especially the black women. They also share a common appreciation for language.

Common Themes
*Uncovering the soul of the black woman
*The rise above sexual and racial oppression for relative peace and independence
*The breakaway from a suffocating, loveless marriage in search for “one’s own self.”
*The unity of women
*Salvation leads to power
Similarities between Celie and Janie
*Seen as “mules of the world”
*Unwillingly forced into a marriage involving little compassion and intellect, but involving physical as well as mental abuse
*Seeking for control of their lives
*Searching for independence in a culture that imposes many limitations
*Yearning to create, dream, grow, love, and to be free
Alice Walker even wrote a poem on Janie. Click here to view it.

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Hurston and Walker’s similar attitudes on women and men
*Searching for their own voice
*Formed intimate relationships with each other women to help them survive struggles
*In the end, they are very strong and courageous
*In most cases, they are very controlling
*Instead of treating their marriages as an equal partnership, they smother their wives
*Failure to see the beauty of life, including relationships with others
click here for summary of Walker’s “Looking for Zora”