Hurston employs cause and effect to illustrate how she “left Eatonville” a “Zora” but once at school and far from home, she became “a little colored girl”. Hurston describes how even when she began to learn of the racial inequities in the US, she kept a positive mindset. She illustrates “there is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes,” utilizing personification to illustrate her genuine happiness. Again contrasting her attitude to the “typical” attitude of many blacks, Hurstron illustrates the “sobbing school of Negrohood '' who blame the hand they have been dealt and just feel sorry for themselves. Nonetheless, Hurston believes there is no use fretting about the past because she is “too busy sharpening (her) oyster knife” to worry about what she cannot control.
Toni Morrison’s A Mercy portrays a young slave, Florens, struggles with her past as well as her life as a slave. Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God shows a woman, Janie, who struggles through various relationships in her life, but in the end, they help her find her freedom and individualism. Both stories have different story lines, but upon a closer look, it is easy to see that Florens and Janie have common factors in their lives; which includes, both characters are isolated by others, both characters want to love someone, both character’s guardians make decisions for them that they do not understand which causes conflict, and finally, both characters commit difficult actions which ends up changing their lives.
Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see” (265). Hurston beautifully depicts this image of Janie’s soul emerging as a statement of her love for Tea Cake and of her vulnerability when she is with him. Likewise, at the end of the story, Janie calls on her soul to come out yet again at the moment in which she reflects upon her life with Tea Cake and in a way thanks him for allowing her to be free.
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.
Hurston tells the story of Janie, a black woman who because of her grandmother experiences and beliefs was forced to marry into a loveless marriage with Logan Killicks, a hard-working farmer who had 60 acres of land and could provide for Janie. This marriage ended when Janie ran away with Joe Stark, a man that she fell in love with and thought could give her the love absent between her and Logan. But Janie soon realized that her second marriage wouldn’t turn out better than her first. Joe was just as controlling and degrading as Logan. He hardly expressed his love for Janie and spoke to her like an incompetent child.
Hurston divided her essay into four parts to describe different parts of her life. How she was a happy child in a small black town in Florida, how she was a lonely child in a larger white dominate town but was still hopeful even though she was bullied as indicated when she was reminded that she is “the grand-daughter of slaves” (Hurston 266), how she grew into an adult and acknowledged the racial differences and the isolation but did not let that break her and finally an acknowledgement that she is just a person equal amongst everyone else no matter their color as she compares herself to a “brown bag of miscellany propped against a wall with other bags” (Hurston 268) of different colors not just white or brown. The images help demonstrate
Her Story, Her Voice The unique story that is Their Eyes Were Watching God is a story of voices collected together to create one big voice. Hurston uses many characters’ voices to help Janie find her own, actual voice and tell her story by the end of the novel. The story by Zora Neale Hurston is a frame story which is a story within a story. Hurston, like many other authors, uses the frame narrative to help the story come full circle and create a sense that the reader is part of the story.
Jody controlled major aspects of Janie’s life, such as her appearance, when he forces her to keep her hair up. Janie does not like that Jody feels the need to control her: “This business of the head-rag irked her endlessly. But Jody was set on it... that was because Joe never told Janie how jealous he was” (Hurston 55).
Zora Neale Hurston’s writing in Their Eyes Were Watching God, reflects the Harlem Renaissance through Janie 's individuality, and departs from the Harlem Renaissance with the common recurrence of black woman empowerment. In the novel, Hurston reflects the ideas of the Harlem renaissance with the ways in which Janie rebels and goes against norms for women.
While working in the store, Joe makes Janie wear a head rag so that it would cover up her hair from the other men gazing at her luscious hair. Hurston writes about Janie’s realization of her situation by mentioning, “Her hair was NOT going to show in the store….She was there in the store for him to look at, not those others” (Hurston 73). Joe clearly illustrates that Janie’s sole purpose is to serve and please only him. Joe will do as much as to demand Janie to wear her hair in certain ways so it doesn’t distract any of the
Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman.” This realization made by Janie supports one of the biggest themes in this novel, which is that the concept of innocence and womanhood can’t exist at the same time. Because Janie finally lets go of her “childish fantasy”, her innocence is lost and she is now a woman. The theme of lost innocence in exchange for womanhood is also prevalent in Hurston’s story Sweat. This idea is one of the reasons that Sykes and Delia’s relationship begins to fall apart when we meet them.
Hurston describes Janie’s quest to finding love and to recovering herself, though
Janie disliked the rag, but said nothing because it please Joe. Janie would do anything to please her husband's. Hurston shows this through her text, “This business of the head rag irked her endlessly. But Jody was set on it”. This not only reveals the willingness Janir has to please her husbands, but also resembles the power her husbands had over Janie.
“Their Eyes Were Watching God” is a novel written by Zora Neale Hurston. The novel portrays Janie, a middle aged black woman who tells her friend Pheoby Watson what has happened to her husband Tea Cake and her adventure. The resulting telling of her story portrays most of the novel. Throughout the novel, Zora Neale Hurston presents the theme of love, or being in a relationship versus freedom and independence, that being in a relationship may hinder one’s freedom and independence. Janie loves to be outgoing and to be able to do what she wants, but throughout the book the relationships that she is in with Logan,Jody and Tea Cake, does not allow her to do that.