Analysis of Internal Conflict in "How It Feels to Be Colored Me" by Zora Neale Hurston

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  590 Words
Date:  2022-08-23

The title of the essay is "How It Feels to Be Colored Me" and Zora Neale Hurston is the author. The author's book was published in Carlisle, Massachusetts: Applewood Books, 2015. "How it feels to be colored me" explores the author's discovery of her self-pride and identity and it relates the theory of double consciousness to Zara's main concern of self-identity. The main purpose of the descriptive essay is to let people embrace themselves because Zora (the author) also did so through her vivid imagery and personal anecdotes. Double consciousness theory is related to the author's work since it describes the internal conflict which is experienced with minority groups in a cruel society. Therefore, the theory helps in describing Hurston whose identity is divided into different facets. The double consciousness theory is reflected in the character of the author who through self-confidence became proud of her second identity, embraced her identity as a black art beauty, contended with rejection for being black and bravely confronted the fear of losing her Negro identity.

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"How It Feels to Be Colored Me" describes the author's experience in the 20th century. She aptly recaptures what it meant to be an African American at that time. In the author's essay, she explains that she is colored. She does it without extenuating circumstances or an apology. Following the different conventions of description, the author uses imagery, figurative language, and colorful diction in taking the reader through her journey. She sharpens her knife in stopping to consider discrimination that causes pain and makes her strong from the hardships endured.

The essay is related to the theory of double consciousness since it indicates that not all the African Americans do experience an intellect of double consciousness and that some have self-confidence which is needed in embracing an individual's blackness (Hurston 2a). The author lived in a place in which there was only black family meaning that she was only aware of the black self since a second identity did not exist for her to deal with. Additionally, through the double consciousness theory, it is evident that the African Americans needed to see people not only as blacks but they also wanted them to be regarded as Americans even without losing their Negro identity. The other aspect of double consciousness in the story is the rejection that the African Americans do face from the institutions and white Americans as Hurston says, "I feel most colored when I am thrown against a sharp white background" (Hurston 96b). Both DuBois and Hurston affirm the black art beauty gorgeously and courageously meaning that it should be embraced. Also, double consciousness from the essay of illustrates that the relationships existing between the whites and blacks as it made the author be colored when she was at a different age, and she realized what it means to be black (Hurston 2b).


In conclusion, the theory of double consciousness best explains Hurston's essays on what she underwent for being an African American. However, self-confidence made her be proud of her second identity and embrace the black beauty as she puts up with rejection for being black and losing her negro identity. Both Hurston and DuBois point out that it is essential to overcome the issue of double consciousness and the main ways of overcoming it are through self-identity and self-consciousness.

Works Cited

Hurston, Zora Neale. How it feels to be colored me. Carlisle, Mass.: Applewood Books, 2015.

Hurston, Zora Neale. "How it feels to be colored me." Worlds of difference: Inequality in the aging experience (2000): 95-97.

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Analysis of Internal Conflict in "How It Feels to Be Colored Me" by Zora Neale Hurston. (2022, Aug 23). Retrieved from

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