Clothing In Their Eyes Were Watching God, By Zora Neale Hurston

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3. Janie wears an apron, a head rag, and overalls at the most significant points in her life. Analyze the way in which the clothing reflects her inner self and how Hurston's use of clothing is symbolic of Janie's development throughout the novel. The novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, written by Zora Neale Hurston is a novel about a woman named Janie, an african american in the 1920’s. Janie was married three times and slowly changed significantly with each marriage. These life changes are reflected in some articles of clothing that are symbolic of what she is going through. Janie changes throughout the novel which is reflected in the apron she wears when she is forced to work for her first husband, the head rag that Joe uses to restrict …show more content…

He becomes Mayor of the town he started and tries to makes Janie suppress her spirit. A symbol of the suppression is the head rag that he insists that Janie wears in the store. She as not to show people her hair and Joe did not want her talking to the townspeople. “He didn't want her talking after such trashy people. “You’se Mrs. Mayor Starks, Janie.” (Hurston 54). Joe would not let her hair show to the store, one of the reason being was that he was jealous of her. She had to tie up her hair in the store, that was his way of controlling her sexuality. The head rag must've been a symbol of the control that joe had over her. Her hair was for him to look at only, and no one else, That's why she was forced to wear the …show more content…

What if Eatonville could see her now in her blue denim overalls and heavy shoes?” (Hurston 134). This shows a symbol of her freedom, no one is making her wear the overalls, it's coming out of her own will to put them on. When she returned back home after the death of her husband Tea Cake, she was wearing overalls but the town thought that she should be wearing a nice blue dress. The overalls were a symbol of freedom. They were what she wanted to wear.Her showing in overalls with her hair loose and flowing was a symbol of her finding herself.“What dat ole forty year ole ‘oman doin’ wid her hair swinging down her back like lak some young gal?” (Hurston 2). This quote was from the townspeople commenting on what they thought Janie should be acting like after the death of her husband. Janie changed multiple time throughout the novel, each time was represented a particular article of clothing's. The apron she wore in the kitchen while married to Logan, was representative of his control over her by keeping her in the kitchen at all times. The head rag while she was married to Joe Starks, represents his control over her in the store. He tried to control and suppress her sexuality to the people in the store. The overalls she chose to wear in the end while married to Tea Cake. This is how the novel ended, with janie making the wrong choices in

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