Paper #1 - Boas Mason Ebony and Ivory Zora Neale Hurston...

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Boas, Mason, Ebony and Ivory Zora Neale Hurston chose her diction quite carefully when she wrote her novel Mules and Men. The narration, being in Standard English, allowed the author’s white audience to relate to her. On the other hand, quoting herself in conversations while speaking in Southern Vernacular allows the black readers to relate. The Ebonics she uses also helps her fit into the communities which she studies. This allows their ideas to be accessible while also showing the reader an effort to get more information. This is Hurston’s subtle way of authorizing herself, pleading for the audience to trust her. Furthermore, Hurston realized who her most important critics were and what she had to do to please them. The first readers of this book were Hurston’s mentors, Franz Boas and Charlotte Osgood Mason. In order for Hurston to publish her book, as well as to give the book credibility, Boas and Mason had to approve of the book. Clearly Hurston does this in the first sentence of the introduction on page 1. “I was glad when somebody told me, ‘you may go and collect Negro folklore’” (Hurston 1) This single sentence helped the entire book to be published. It is interesting that after this sentence the author doesn’t make another mention of her gratitude toward Boas and Mason. In fact, on the same page as the previous quote Hurston writes, “Dr. Boas asked me where I wanted to work and I said ‘Florida’” (Hurston 1). This sentence
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Paper #1 - Boas Mason Ebony and Ivory Zora Neale Hurston...

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