Discussing “Hurricane”

This short story is an excerpt from “Their Eyes Were Watching God”.

Set in the everglades of Florida we find Janie and Tea Cake living their happy lives and becoming key members of the community. We see the love they have for each other. The peace they found in this community.

But as the story progresses, we know that a hurricane is coming but most of the Black people follow the lead of the white people and do not evacuate. Failing to take a lesson from the Seminole people who departed early, and one of his friends who came by to offer a ride to safety, Tea Cake decided to stay.

Hurston describes the slowly unfolding danger the hurricane brings. The breaking of dikes and the oncoming destruction of the lake as it spreads out over the land. The chaos and panic of every living creature as a force greater than all of them comes to devour them. The fact that the natural order of things is so disrupted by this hurricane. Natural enemies suddenly forget their normal animosities because survival trumps everything.

Hurston takes the reader on a wild and thrilling ride through the dangers of the storm. Even though this is a portion of a larger work, it stands on its own. There is a lot to explore in this story. If you have never read “Their Eyes Were Watching God” then this is a good sample that will make you want to read the whole novel.

More discussions of Hurston's short stories.