The Valpo Core Reader


Angela Haupt

Document Type

Freshman Seminar Essay

Publication Date



"Nothing can't stop you from wishin'. You can't beat nobody down so low till you can rob 'em of they will" (Hurston 15). This quotation from Zora Neal Hurston's novel, Their Eyes are Watching God, expresses one of the main themes that the novel shares with the film Paris Is Burning. Both the novel, which follows a woman's search for happiness and satisfaction in the 1930's, and the film, which depicts the lifestyle of black, homosexual gangs in New York City in the 1980's, express the clear idea that everyone, no matter how oppressed, has dreams and goals which he or she strives to achieve. The characters in both the novel and the film display similar aspirations and dreams, deal with their prejudices in much the same way, and ultimately use remarkably similar means to attain these goals.