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Laying Down the Rails: Sacred and Secular Groundwork in Zora Neale Hurston’s Jonah’s Gourd Vine and King Vidor’s Hallelujah

Laying Down the Rails: Sacred and Secular Groundwork in Zora Neale Hurston’s Jonah’s Gourd... leSlie Win gard l aying do wn the r ails Sacred and Secular Groundwork in Zora Neale Hurston’s Jonah’s Gourd Vine and King Vidor’s Hallelujah “Dey talkin’ ’bout passin’ laws tuh keep black folks from buying railroad tickets.” —Zora Neale Hurston, Jonah’s Gourd Vine The texts ultimately Though it is clear that the characters in the novel produce Jonah’s Gourd Vine (1934) and the fi lm Hallelujah (1929) have no frame of reference for understand- new ideas ing how sexuality or progressive politics could ben- about how to efi cially coincide with religious practice, writer Zora slowly begin Neale Hurston and director King Vidor certainly demonstrate that the train and railroad are spaces reconciling ripe with the potential to harness this type of col- the structure laborative power. Hurston and Vidor’s locomotives and railroads are plot vehicles that illuminate how through which detrimental the division between sacred and secular sacred/secular can be. In particular, their trains, sometimes lurch- ing violently, overdramatize the need for people to debates are stop emphatically privileging the sacred over the engaged. secular or the secular over the sacred. Both narra- tives engage the secular train in conversations about sacred values and identify the potential http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Laying Down the Rails: Sacred and Secular Groundwork in Zora Neale Hurston’s Jonah’s Gourd Vine and King Vidor’s Hallelujah

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 49 (1) – Jun 15, 2017

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

leSlie Win gard l aying do wn the r ails Sacred and Secular Groundwork in Zora Neale Hurston’s Jonah’s Gourd Vine and King Vidor’s Hallelujah “Dey talkin’ ’bout passin’ laws tuh keep black folks from buying railroad tickets.” —Zora Neale Hurston, Jonah’s Gourd Vine The texts ultimately Though it is clear that the characters in the novel produce Jonah’s Gourd Vine (1934) and the fi lm Hallelujah (1929) have no frame of reference for understand- new ideas ing how sexuality or progressive politics could ben- about how to efi cially coincide with religious practice, writer Zora slowly begin Neale Hurston and director King Vidor certainly demonstrate that the train and railroad are spaces reconciling ripe with the potential to harness this type of col- the structure laborative power. Hurston and Vidor’s locomotives and railroads are plot vehicles that illuminate how through which detrimental the division between sacred and secular sacred/secular can be. In particular, their trains, sometimes lurch- ing violently, overdramatize the need for people to debates are stop emphatically privileging the sacred over the engaged. secular or the secular over the sacred. Both narra- tives engage the secular train in conversations about sacred values and identify the potential

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 15, 2017

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