Analysis Of Janie In Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston

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The townspeople’s envy of Janie is rooted in internalized racism--one that favors light skin and other Eurocentric facial features. The porch-sitters of Eatonville also find it strange that Janie, who was at a higher social class before she met Tea Cake, come back to Eatonville and present herself in a way typical of a laborer. Although Janie yearns for a sense of community within Eatonville, the porch creates a division rooted in envy and internalized racism amongst the black community. Furthermore, as Tea Cake rapidly gets more sick, Janie acts upon self-defense and is forced to kill Tea Cake. That same day, Janie was to be put on trial in the courtroom. As Janie testifies, the jury, which consists of white men, find her innocent, while the …show more content…

They were there with their tongues cocked and loaded” (185-186). Even though Janie was judged in front of both races--black and white--she was unexpectedly dismissed by her own black community. The black townspeople of Eatonville in the trial relates back to the porch, since both communities rejection and judgment of Janie are deeply ingrained in internalized racism. As someone who is supposed to be a part of the black community, one would expect that Janie would have the full support of the townspeople, especially during the Jim Crow era. However, because of envy, judgment, and self-hate, the black community is so divided, that even in one’s worst times, they will doubt them and be unsupportive in order to feed their own dignity. Janie mentions “that a light slap from each one of them would have beat her to death,” which signifies that support is essential in a community. Instead of uplifting their community, the townspeople decide to gossip and be envious of Janie, which essentially creates further division. The porch, symbolic of judgement and envy, conveys that internalized self-hatred within the black community becomes a reality when division is created among Janie and her childhood peers, converse in false gossip about Janie, and by dismissing Janie when support is needed the …show more content…

Turner perpetuates anti-blackness in her own black community by directly dismissing one’s personality based on the color of their skin, worshipping whiteness as a god, and working to achieve a racial hierarchy based on Eurocentric standards of beauty. As off-season for harvesting has commenced, Janie and Tea Cake have decided to remain on their residence in the Muck during this time of year; thus, Janie has more leisure time. Mrs. Turner, a townswoman of the Muck, begins to speak with Janie in her home during their free time about Janie’s husband, Tea Cake, and urges her to marry her brother instead. Mrs. Turner “didn’t forgive [Janie] for marrying a man as dark as Tea Cake, but she felt that she could remedy that” (Hurston 140). Here, Mrs. Turner clearly reveals her colorism against dark-skinned members of her community. Because she values whiteness as a whole, Mrs. Turner advises that Janie leave Tea Cake and marry her brother instead because he is light-skinned. The primary reason Mrs. Turner disapproves of Tea Cake is because he is dark-skinned. Mrs. Turner completely ignores the role that one’s character and personality plays in deciding if an individual is suitable for someone in a relationship, both romantically and platonically. Instead, she decides to entirely form her perception on someone based on the darkness of one’s skin and treats this as a factor in deciding someone’s individuality. Mrs. Turner subconsciously enforces stereotypes about darker-skinned

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