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Their Eyes Were Watching God Nanny

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People come into our lives for different reasons. Some leave a positive impact, while others bring negativity. Readers and critics alike have treasured Zora Neale Hurston’s 20th century novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, for generations particularly for its complex portrayal of the different main characters. The people a person meet and the experiences that person many go through in their lifetime can alter a person significantly. Through the tyrannical words of Joe Starks and the inconsiderate actions of Nanny, Janie in the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God is negatively influenced as her actions and thoughts alter her life. The author Zora Neale Hurston conveys the message that people closest to a person’s heart can often hide their true…show more content…
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). Nanny is successfully able to convince her granddaughter through her own traumatic experiences and make her feel “sympathy” as she tells Janie she doesn’t want her life to be spoiled like her own life was. At first, Janie refuses to marry Logan Killicks. Nanny being the older one, defends herself by saying “put me down easy” since she can no longer care for Janie and only her wish is for Janie to get married and be protected from the dangers she and her own daughter faced. By calling herself a “cracked plate” Nanny further elucidates that she went through many hardships in her own life and wants to do the right thing for her granddaughter by…show more content…
Janie realizes what she deserves in a marriage and runs off with Starks to live a happy life with him. Things do not go as planned for Janie as she starts to realize how manipulative Joe Starks is of her. Starks has full control over Janie with his tyrannical behavior and takes things even further when he establishes complete dominance over Janie. Janie soon realizes that Starks has taken advantage of her “It was her image of Jody tumbled down and shattered. But looking at it she saw that it never was the flesh and blood figure of her dreams. Just something she had grabbed up to drape her dreams over” (Hurston 72). Janie figures out that Joe is not the man she had married when the “image of Jody tumbled down” she begins to understand that Joe was not at all significant to her because he never cared for her and instead he was a bad influence. Janie figures out that he “never was the flesh and blood figure of her dreams” the life she desires of with Joe Starks, is an allusion and Janie’s dreams are once again crushed. Janie is deceived by Joe because he represents empty dreams for Janie, he was a “drape [for] her dreams” Joe took advantage of Janie and manipulates her to do excessive labour for him in the store and constantly silences her. Furthermore, Joe Starks never treats Janie with respect as he views her as an object and spends his time commanding her. Joe pushes away the opportunity
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