Analysis Of Janie's Roles In Their Eyes Were Watching God Hurston

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Zora Neale Hurston once said that “No matter how far away a person can go the horizon is till way beyond you”, and in her fictional novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God Hurston takes the audience through Janie Crawford’s journey to her horizon. The novel, published in 1937 follows Janie through her three marriages to Logan Killicks, Joe Starks, and Vergible “Tea Cake” Woods. Each of Janie’s relationships move her closer and closer to her dreams symbolized as her horizon. Through her relationships with Logan, Joe, and Tea Cake, Janie gains a sense of perspective, freedom, and opportunity.
Janie gained a sense of perspective about the relationship of marriage and love through her marriage with Logan. Being Janie’s first husband, Janie believed
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Quickly after leaving Logan, Janie got married to Joe; this relationship was originally healthy for Janie but as time grew on Joe began to mistreat Janie both physically and emotionally. When Joe was alive he had Janie tie up her long hair in a rag to prevent other men from admiring her feature, but when Joe passed away Janie “tore off the kerchief from her head and let down her plentiful hair” (Hurston 87). When Janie tears off the kerchief and lets down her hair, she realizes that she is free from the restraints that Joe had put on her appearance. Days after Joe’s death Janie continued to wear her hair down about the town symbolizing her freedom from her abusive and controlling husband. Furthermore, Janie had also gained freedom from her late grandmother, Nanny, whom had raised Janie and forced her into a marriage with Logan. After Joe’s death Janie was able accept that “she hated her grandmother and had hidden it from herself all these years under a cloak of pity...She hated the old women who had twisted her so in the name of love” (Hurston 89). Nanny had expectations and plans for Janie’s life and with the death of Joe she was able to free herself from the idea of love that Nanny had implemented on her from such a young age. Nanny had manipulated Janie’s perception of love so that she would find it necessary to…show more content…
Janie’s relationship with Tea Cake is the relationship in which Janie is the most happy to be in throughout the whole time they are together. When Janie moves to the Everglades with Tea Cake, he decides that she should learn how to shoot a rifle. Janie enjoyed the activity so much that “every day they were practicing...And the thing that got everybody was the way Janie caught on. She got to the place she could shoot a hawk out of a pine tree and not tear him up” (Hurston 131). Janie had never had the opportunity to learn how to shoot a gun and doing so was an activity that she enjoyed and therefore she did it every day out of delight. In Janie’s past relationships she had never really gained new skills that she enjoyed using, Tea Cake gives Janie the chance to try new things and gain new experiences unlike her other husbands where she did only what she was told. Furthermore, when Janie and Tea Cake moved to the Everglades, Tea Cake had gotten a job working at a bean field, which he later was able to get Janie to work as well. Janie had only had one job prior to this, in which she worked in the store in Eatonville where she lived with Joe, and this job was one that she did not enjoy. While Tea Cake was asking Janie if she liked working in the field with him, Janie explained that working in the field is “mo’ nicer that settin’ round dese quarters all day.
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