3/23 Discussion Questions

Adding on to Julian’s questions, there were a few questions I had that I was hoping we would get to discuss as well.

To start, does Hurston fit into the ideas of the Harlem Renaissance? Mules and Men was published near the end of the Renaissance timeline. Do you see it as a part of it or something that marks the beginning of a new literary era?

Why do the people refer to the stories as “lies”? What does this say about how they view the stories? How does it affect how the audience comes to interpret the stories?

On page 20 of Mules and Men, a man makes a remark about preachers and how they have no greater authority to preach as they aren’t any different from anyone else. This moment stuck out to me. Why did Hurston include this? What did this moment mean to you? Did you take it to be something larger than a man complaining about preachers?

I was also hoping to talk about whether anyone saw differences in the stories she was told in Eatonville, where she was welcomed and considered a local, and the stories she heard elsewhere, where she was considered to be an outsider. How does one’s position in the community affect the stories that they are told?