Examples Of Determination In Their Eyes Were Watching God

1489 Words6 Pages

The Consequences of Determination in “Their Eyes Were Watching God”

“Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting.” However, this quote by Napoleon Hill is true, there are many arguments that prove it is false in the novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God ''. "Their Eyes Were Watching God'' by Zora Neale Hurston is a novel that highlights Janie Crawford's determination. Throughout the novel Janie along with many other characters are determined and seek a certain goal that they are trying to achieve. For example, we see Jody (Joe’s) determination to provide a well structured economy for Eatonville. We also see Nanny’s determination when she is making sure Janie is okay based on her past experiences as a slave. Throughout …show more content…

One way Hurston demonstrates how determination is detrimental is through ownership. As we know throughout the novel Jody is very determined to keep Janie away from the rest of society . Jody also fears that Janie will be seen as a normal woman in society and he often treats her as a trophy or an item that shows his power over the other men in Eatonville. Jody is afraid that as Janie talks to other men and people in society he will lose Janie’s interest in him or his “prize possession.” Jody is very overprotective of Janie, not allowing her to speak to other men or even leave the store during the day. In chapter six of the novel, Janie and Mr. Walter are talking in the store then suddenly he begins to brush her hair with his finger tip. Jody refuses to interrupt the conversation; however, after the conversation Jody punishes Janie. Hurston states, “He felt like rushing forth with the meat knife and chopping off the offending hand. That night he ordered Janie to tie up her hair around the store. That was all'' (Hurston 55). Jody’s determination to keep Janie safe and protect her from other men causes Janie to be upset. Janie feels as if her only purpose “was there in the store for him to look at, not those others'' (55). …show more content…

One example where Hurston demonstrates how one's determination to achieve a goal hurts others around them, is through Janie's journey for love. In the beginning of the novel, Janie first experiences love with a boy named Johnny Taylor. However, as Nanny caught Janie and Johnny mingling under a pear tree she decides to marry Janie with a man with wealth named Logan Killicks. Throughout this relationship Logan forced Janie to help in the fields which she did not like. One day when Logan is out in the fields, he asks Janie if she could help she refuses saying “You don’t need mah help out dere, Logan. Youse in yo’ place and Ah’m in mine”(31). Janie believes that she is meant to be in the kitchen while Logan goes out and works in the fields during their relationship. As stated in the novel Janie would rather be in a relationship knowing she is loved more than being protected. This ultimately hurts Nanny because she believes that Janie does not trust her because she won’t listen, and it also causes Nanny to be worried because she does not want Janie to experience the same trauma as her. Another example throughout the novel where one’s determination destroys others around them is through Jody. Jody’s determination to prosper a new society ultimately destroys his and Janie's relationship throughout the novel. As he arrives in Eatonville he is determined

Open Document