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Zora Neale Hurston's Mules and Men (MAXnotes)
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Top Customer Reviews
"Mules and Men" is an outstanding source of information about the folk-tales, called "lies", of rural Southern African-Americans. (Florida was a gathering place for African-Americans throughout the South because of the economic opportunities it offered.) She visited old friends in Eatonville, and won the confidence of people in the other communities she visited. The tales include animal stories ("why dogs and cats are enemies", "how the snake got poison," for example) stories of pre-civil war days involving a slave named "Jack" and his master, stories of the battle between the sexes, contests between "Jack" and the devil, bragging contests, and much else. Hurston also collected songs and lyrics, including "John Henry", sermons, and hoodoo formulas while in New Orleans.
But this book is much more than a compilation of folk materials. Hurston brings her material to life by bringing the story-tellers and the communities she visited to life.Read more ›
This book was actually quite revolutionary. Up to this time, most educated Blalcks scorned the folk culture of their own people and black foklore collections were usually written by whites. While a few (such as Edward CL Adams and Julia Peterkin) got it right, the results were often patronzing at best and racist mockery at worst) as few Blacks of that time would be candid with white folklore collectors.
Zora went back to her hometown of Eatonville, Fla to the front porches and juke joints that she knew and got it down right. The tales themselves are very entertaining as is the frame story of her adventures with the locals.
If you get this and Adams' "Tales of the Congaree (and B.A. Botkin's Anthology "Treasury of American Folklore"), youll get a good intro to Black American Folklore. Enjoy.
As someone who grew up in the South at the tail end of the era recorded in “Mules and Men” I can only be awed at how accurately Zora Hurston captured the people and culture, the sights, sounds, smells . . .it’s all there. This is a superb book of folktales, an amazing recreation of a vanished or almost vanished way
of life . . .on so many levels this is an astonishing work of art and science.
Believe anything good you read about the book and author, ignore the rest. A bargain at the price and a lot of fun to read at the very least. An education beyond price for anyone who reads with a little thought.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First I read their eyes were watching God which I highly recommend. Since eyes was so good I got this one while I love somethings about it like the personnalities and the day to... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Billy Robinson
This is an awesome book. I felt like on was on the front porch listing to all the old stories.Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
I haven't read the whole book, but from what I have read, it seems to be pretty course or crude. Maybe the culture has changed since the book was written. Read morePublished 17 months ago by gprichard
Interesting as history, but not a compelling read.
Notes indicate that it started as a collaborative stage play, but the authors fell out about this and that and it... Read more
I liked the book because it contains accurate records of black life and language.
The book took me back to my childhood in rural and semi rural Florida anf Georgia. Read more