Conflicts In Their Eyes Were Watching God

596 Words3 Pages
During the 1920s, many traditional values were abandoned in place of unconventional ideologies. However, several groups clung to the time-honored morals of their fathers. These opposing viewpoints were the root of much tension in society, especially in locations where a black majority was prevalent. Examples of this controversy are present throughout the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, written by black feminist author Zora Neale Hurston. The main conflict and the moral beliefs in the novel stem from protagonist Janie Crawford being an independent thinker and having divergent principles from the other censorious members of her society. Because of Janie’s independent tendencies, she is looked down upon by many members of her society. Lulu Moss says of Janie on page 3, “She sits high, but she looks low. Dat’s what Ah say ‘bout dese ole women runnun’ after young boys.” Also on page 3, Pearl Stone claims, “She de one been doin’ wrong.” These quotes demonstrate the thoughts of the majority – Janie was defiling sacred traditions and humiliating herself. The ancestral values instilled in most of Janie’s…show more content…
On page 143, Mrs. Turner “…begged Janie to drop in on her anytime, but never once mentioned Tea Cake.” This quote shows the prejudice the society had towards Janie, but it is manifested differently. Instead of Mrs. Turner directly judging Janie, she targets Tea Cake. Many characters are intolerant of Janie’s individuality, but for a variety of reasons. Some are concerned with how Janie styles and wears her hair, as seen by the group on the porch and Joe Starks; others, such as Mrs. Turner, are concerned with Janie’s husband, whether it be because of Tea Cake’s dark skin or his young age. Still others believe that Janie receives preferential treatment because of her status as a black woman. Regardless of the reason, each character has a different opinion of Janie’s
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