Working beyond cultural hierarchies
Franchi, Jaimie Lauren
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As an anthropologist and writer of fiction, Zora Neale Hurston worked frequently with folklore; many of the projects on which she worked involved the collection and analysis of folktales and other folk art. Due to her career and her own personal background, her novels and short stories were heavily influenced by folklore and also by the largely oral culture from which she collected the tales. This paper will first set out to examine how folklore and orality function in Hurston’s literature, and then determine that they not only to enhance the artistic quality of her work, but also as allow Hurston to examine and break down cultural hierarchies involving literature and folklore, writing and orality, and formal and "folk" education.