Discussing The Bone of Contention

In Bone of Contention, Zora paints a picture of Eatonville, Florida. This all black town that was started by Joe Clarke is a central location in her most famous work, “Their Eyes Were Watching  God.”

I really enjoyed this story because it brought to life the dynamics of a small town and the interesting dynamics between the people in that town. You have the conflicts between the strong leader who started the town and the people who are jealous and want to be in charge. This same type of conflict happens even today. While we do not just go about starting new towns, people do start companies, social networks, even podcasts and you see the same type of dynamics happen between the person who starts it and those who come later and feel that this thing is as much theirs as the person who started it.

I was really fascinated by how the people of Eatonville handle people who committed transgressions. Eatonville did not have a jail or prison, instead a person who was found guilty of a transgression would be kicked out of the town. So, instead of taking someone's freedom, you just cut them off from the goodness of living in a black town.

Another interesting thing is the battle between the Baptists and the Methodist.

There is so much in this story and again, Hurston paints this wonderful picture of a unique time in our history.

Anyone who has read “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, will enjoy this story and it gives you another chance to return to Eatonville.

More discussions of Hurston's short stories.