Analysis Of Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston

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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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