All throughout Their Eyes Were Watching God, a novel by Zora Neale Hurston, the themes of uniformity, love, and more can be seen encircling the world of Janie Mae Crawford, the protagonist of the story. These symbols and motifs stretch farther into the contrasting locations of Eatonville and the Everglades. There are many prominent differences between the two places, as well as prominent meaning and themes surrounding the two different locations. Eatonville and The Everglades house thematic symbols that contrast one another. Eatonville, the central urban setting, represents conformity, suppression and stagnant standard.
This is another way that he fits the male stereotype. He does not care what she feels, rather he only cares about what the other guys in the town thinks about his marriage. Tea Cake is the last of her marriages, and is also a male that fits the stereotypes that are thrown onto men. Tea Cake, however, does not have the stereotype of what some would call toxic masculinity. He is sweet to Janie and tries to win her over, not caring what the town thinks about the relationship.
The narrator remarks that “ What if Eatonville could see her now in her blue denim overalls and heavy shoes” (134). This supports how Joe and Eatonville both use judgement and male dominance in gender roles to prevent Janie from freely letting her hair open. However, Tea Cake did the complete opposite and gave Janie the equal opportunities and voice about their marriage, and the overalls symbolize the equality in their relationship. Although overalls reflect a working society, this clashes with Janie’s previous lifestyles as the wife of landowners and mayors, but also shows how she seems the happiest with Tea Cake than in any of her marriages even though she is with a simple and relatively poor man. This attributes to why Janie loved Tea Cake, and that is because he valued equality in marriage instead of materialistic objects unlike Janie’s previous marriages.
Hurston describes the transition Janie makes from being identified by others to recognizing her self worth. “The young girl was gone, but a handsome woman had taken her place. She tore off the her handkerchief from her head and let down her plentiful hair. The weight, the length, the glory was there” (Hurston 170). The author uses the handkerchief to symbolize how people and objects have constantly covered and concealed the true beauty that Janie has never been able to embrace.
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Hurston develops the theme of love and power with repetition. Throughout this novel Janie varies from marriages with men who desire wealth and power. However, eventually Janie finds a true love in Tea Cake. The most pervasive theme in Their Eyes Were Watching God is the search for love. Zora Hurston develops this theme through the repetition of relationships.
Next, Janie continues on her determined journey for love when she goes off to marry Tea Cake. In the quote,
The United States Constitution states that the country values liberty, life, and happiness for all of its citizens. These three values shape the ideal American experience. Most view it as living freely, where all men, women, and races are created equal, and where oppression of genders and races does not exist. In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, however, Zora Neale Hurston challenges the traditional view of this experience by illustrating how gender roles and racism change it, manifesting that it is not close to what the average citizen goes through, especially if he or she is black.
The porch also gives a clear vision of the how segregation in this town of Eatonville. Men sat around on the porch and played games but women were not allowed to participate in these activities because it lacked “class.” However, clearly not all men are alike so when Tea Cake came along, Janie felt the freedom she never experienced in her past relationships. Even before meeting Tea Cake, the death of Joe exonerated Janie from the shackles that were placed on her individuality and "[she] did what she had never done before, that is, thrust herself into the conversation."
Differences are what make people interesting. Different religions, cultures, and beliefs affect everyone and are interesting to see. However, sometimes these differences cause people to be persecuted. Prejudices threaten the cultural diversity that make the world such an interesting place. In Zora Neal Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, the main character, Janie is ostracized from her community because of the color of her skin.
In the beginning Janie feels as if Tea Cake’s age would effect their relationship. She has strong feelings for him, but on the other hand people are saying he will run off with her money. Janie proves them wrong and runs off and gets married to Tea Cake. He makes Janie feel wanted, she feels like she could be herself. Janie states, "We been tuhgether round two years.
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).
In the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, the protagonist Janie, is influenced by others to change her ideals. Hurston vividly portrays Janie’s outward struggle while emphasising her inward struggle by expressing Janie’s thoughts and emotions. In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening the protagonist is concisely characterized as having “that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions,” as Janie does. Janie conforms outwardly to her life but questions inwardly to her marriages with Logan Killicks, her first husband, and Joe Starks, her second husband; Janie also questions her grandmother's influence on what love and marriage is.
“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.
One of the universal themes of literature is the idea that children suffer because of the mistakes of an earlier generation. The novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God" follows the story of Janie Mae Crawford through her childhood, her turbulent and passionate relationships, and her rejection of the status quo and through correlation of Nanny 's life and Janie 's problems, Hurston develops the theme of children 's tribulations stemming from the teachings and thoughts of an earlier generation. Nanny made a fatal mistake in forcibly pushing her own conclusions about life, based primarily on her own experiences, onto her granddaughter Janie and the cost of the mistake was negatively affecting her relationship with Janie. Nanny lived a hard life and she made a rough conclusion about how to survive in the world for her granddaughter, provoked by fear. " Ah can’t die easy thinkin’ maybe de menfolks white or black is makin’ a spit cup outa you: Have some sympathy fuh me.