Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston depicts the life of Janie Crawford, and the adversity she endures. During this time, many adhere to traditional gender roles. Men are the authoritative figures who hold positions of power while women take care of the house and the family. Janie’s past husbands, Logan Killicks and Joe Starks, and Nanny force her to maintain this customary role as a wife; however, Tea Cake breaks this mold, showing Janie how to break these rules. From the start, Nanny inculcates in Janie these beliefs and the importance of marriage. To Nanny, marriage is the key to having protection and financial stability. She divulges, on page 32,“`Tain’t Logan Killicks Ah wants you to have, baby, it’s protection.” On the …show more content…
He uses his charming voice to paint a picture of the life Janie could live. On page 46, he says,“A pretty doll-baby lak you is made to sit on de front porch and rock and fan yo’self and eat p’taters dat other folks plant just special for you.” However, once Joe gains power as the mayor of Eatonville, he puts Jane in her place. Joe strips her of her voice and beauty and establishes a sense of dominance over Janie. For example, on page 61, Mr. Starks gives a speech after becoming mayor, but when one audience member asks Janie to speak, he responds, “ Thank yuh for yo’ compliments, but mah wife don’t know nothin’ `bout no speech-makin’. Ah never married her for nothin’ lak dat. She’s uh woman and her place is in de home.” In this moment, Janie no longer can speak for herself because in Joe’s eyes, she is a maid, not an orator. Furthermore, he alters Janie’s appearance by hiding her luscious hair, which symbolizes her individuality. On page 73, the novel states, “She was in there for him to look at, not those others.” He notices other men gawking at her hair, and in fear of losing her; he covers it up. Lastly, he restricts her from playing checkers because Joe believes it is a game for the only men. He also beats her, showing he will even use force to assert his ascendancy. For instance, in chapter 6, he slaps her after observing the meal is a
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In the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie a girl who develops into a woman during her problematic life; with love and the people around her. Illustrates that the struggle through obstacles and conflicts in life, shapes you to be who you are. A conflict that Janie experienced that helped her shape who she is, was when Nanny speaks to Janie about marriage, and how Janie should marry Logan Killicks even though she isn’t interested. Nanny informs Janie begs Nanny “Ah ain’t gointuh do it no mo’, Nanny.
Her marriage with Joe was better than first, she even thought this was the" horizon" she looked for however, she was placed in a trophy case for display. Joe was as controlling as he was jealous. He prohibited her from showing her hair, as well as taking part in common things. Janie was basically isolated from the town. Everything between them went sour quickly after Janie stripped Joe of his manhood in front of people.
At the beginning of the novel, Janie is a young girl who is told what to do and how to act by the people around her. She is married off to Logan Killicks without her consent, and she feels trapped and powerless in her own life. This is evident when Janie says, "She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie's first dream was dead, so she became a woman." (Hurston, 24)
Being a woman did not allow her dreams to be on the horizon which made her lay them on Joe. This chapter makes Janie realize what she wants in life and it is not what her grandma wants. She wants love and freedom. Joe gave her more than what her grandma wanted for her although Janie did not achieve the life she wanted while being married to Joe. Janie may have placed her goals in life onto Joe although he did not give her what she wanted deep down which made her resent him, show her selfish qualities,
This story is centered around how Janie becomes a women despite her servile marriages that control her
Children most often like to make their parents proud. Whether it is pursuing the career of their childhood dreams, or by simply making an “A” on a test. Examples like such occasionally lead to high expectations that the child may not be able to meet. Sometimes those expectations contradict the dreams of their own, leading up to the most crucial question. To please the parents or to please oneself?
The novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston presents Janie Crawford: a woman who learns through her marriage that her mind has no importance to a man as she enters her second marriage. She leaps into the arms of a man named Joe Starks hoping for change and a new love to blossom. However, Janie was constantly trapped in a cage of submission by Joe constantly never being able to do what she liked; only being able to remain perched on a high chair looking over the world she longed to be a part of. This continued until Death took hold of his life 20 years later. “‘Mah own mind had tuh be squeezed and crowded out tuh make room for yours in me’” says Janie to Joe as he lies on his deathbed.
In the community, Janie was the subject of criticism about her beauty as a result of jealousy. Women of the town would comment, asking "what she doin coming back here in dem overalls... what dat ole forty year ole 'oman doin' wid her hair swingin' down her back." (2) To make up for what they
Nanny who has been Janie’s caretaker has several hopes and dreams for her granddaughter. Nanny is not entirely perfect at her job of raising Janie, since her dreams for her are clouded by her own scarring experiences. Nanny attempts to insure a better life for Janie by forcing her to marry Logan Killicks, an old and wealthy man. Blinded by her own dreams, hopes, and desires, Nanny makes many impositions on Janie, “Have some sympathy fuh me. Put me down easy, Janie, Ah’m a cracked plate” (Hurston 20).
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie suffers from hardship in two relationships before she can find her true love. Janie explains to her best friend, Pheoby, how she searches for love. Therefore Pheoby wants to hear the true story, rather than listening to the porch sitters. Throughout the book Janie experiences different types of love with three different men; Logan Killicks, Joe Starks, and Vergible "Tea Cake" Woods. At 16 Janie marries Logan Killicks.
Zora Neale Hurston, an author during the Harlem Renaissance, wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God, an amazing novel written about the losses and loves of a lady named Janie Crawford. The author describes the way Janie found out who she really was and what love was throughout her three marriages. Janie’s first two marriages were unfulfilling and not healthy for herself. Janie realized what true love was when she met Tea Cake. Janie’s first marriage was to a man named Logan Killicks, which was forced upon her by her grandmother.
Nearing the end of her and Joe’s relationship and following Joe’s death, Janie discovers once again that her horizon is still far away. The way that Joe treated Janie as an object and as a puppet drove Janie to resentment. Hurston states that, “Digging around in herself like that she found that . . . she hated her grandmother and had hidden it from herself all these ears under a cloak of pity” (89). Janie’s self-reflection allows her to realize how much Nanny suppressed Janie from being able to reach her horizon.
Because Nanny grew up with nothing, she valued financial and material values rather than the love Janie so desired. Up until Janie was about seventeen, Nanny did not imprint these values. Furthermore, when Nanny heard Janie’s conversations with the local boys, she scolded Janie, and immediately starts to set up plans for marriage. There is one key reason for this decision on Nanny’s part; she wanted to maintain respectability in order to keep Janie for turning into the social wreck her mother is. We can see here that Nanny is just trying to do what was best for Janie, although Janie does not realize this until after Nanny has passed away.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston contains many elements of racism, sexism, and elitism. Janie spends a lifetime of going from one relationship to the next in an effort to find out who she is. Along the way, there are elements of feminism, or the advocacy for gender equality, that touch her journey as she learns to make her own decisions and speak her mind. While Janie would not necessarily be the most typical conception of a strong feminist character, the context of the southern African American society of the 1920´s, Janie has made some decisive actions that would constitute her as a feminist character.
This novel was written in 1937, which means that this was written at a time where women, especially young women, had no say in their lives. They were told what to do by the elders in their family, in Janie’s case this is Nanny but in many cases it was the father or eldest brother in the family. Therefore, when Nanny caught Janie having her first kiss with Johnny Taylor, a local boy who did not come from money, she decided that it was time for Janie to be married off. She insisted that Janie marry a man named Logan Killicks who was a middle aged, wealthy, and a farmer. Janie was only 16 when Nanny decided it was time for her to marry this man and didn’t want to do this, but Nanny insisted that she marry him because she needed a man and his money