In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, home to Janie is a place that has both positive and negative associations- the pear tree. Janie constantly goes to the pear tree for comfort; it is her place of happiness, peace and her love life. At the same time, Janie has the pear tree embedded in her mind. She constantly compares her partners to the pear tree and what their love should be like; so when the thought of an unwelcoming incident pops up in her head, he is tarnishing her pear tree. At sixteen, Janie’s grandmother caught her kissing Johnny Taylor; Janie spends most of her day under the pear tree in her backyard with her mind-boggling questions on virginity, love and marriage.
He, even in her eyes, is not perfect, however they love each other mutually. For once, one of Janie’s husbands is not trying to dominate and make himself superior. Janie states this mutual love for him at their relationship’s beginning by saying, “he could be a bee to a blossom — a pear tree blossom in the spring”(Hurston ). At last, the mutual relationship like a bee and blossom is possible, both benefit and neither feels left out. He teaches her to shoot, hunt, play checkers, and work outside.
This can also explain why Janie ran away with Joe Starks. Janie was enticed with Starks’ words and thought that he could be the one that could give her the love she was searching for. However, she was not happy with being the “mayor’s wife,” that just did what Starks told her to do. Janie did not feel love until, as Hibben’s describes, “Tea Cake came along with his trampish clothes and his easy way and his nice grin,” allowing Janie to fall for him. Even if Tea Cake was younger he made her feel something she never had before,
Janie had never had the opportunity to learn how to shoot a gun and doing so was an activity that she enjoyed and therefore she did it every day out of delight. In Janie’s past relationships she had never really gained new skills that she enjoyed using, Tea Cake gives Janie the chance to try new things and gain new experiences unlike her other husbands where she did only what she was told. Furthermore, when Janie and Tea Cake moved to the Everglades, Tea Cake had gotten a job working at a bean field, which he later was able to get Janie to work as well. Janie had only had one job prior to this, in which she worked in the store in Eatonville where she lived with Joe, and this job was one that she did not enjoy. While Tea Cake was asking Janie if she liked working in the field with him, Janie explained that working in the field is “mo’ nicer that settin’ round dese quarters all day.
Her final marriage represents Janie following her horizon. She had finally found her true happiness with someone who represented her pear tree, another strong symbol enforced by Hurston. The pear tree represented simplicity and pleasure. Every man Janie had married had been older than her, and not exactly what she had envisioned under the pear tree. Finally, she met Tea Cake and felt the feelings she had been longing
She says “… aunt Martha found me one right off. Everybody said I was lucky to have one come out here and I agreed to give her a dollar extry to make sure. She’ll be over tomorrow afternoon (Wharton 82)”. She does not discuss getting a new girl with Ethan at all. She uses the excuse she did not want to show that they are broke because it is embarrassing.
Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, begins by showing what is occurring in the present of the main character’s life. Janie, the main character of this story, is returning to Eatonville, Florida the town she once called home. Upon her return the townspeople gossip about her and make speculations about where she has been. They also wonder what happened to Tea Cake, the young man with whom she ran off. Of all the townspeople, only one person stood up for Janie and did not give in to the gossip.
After leaving Logan and marrying Joe, she was very happy and seemed to be in love but soon after becomes a “trophy wife” and was just going through the motions of marriage. “No matter what Jody did, she said nothing. She had learned how to talk some and leave some… She got nothing from Jody except what money could buy, and she was giving away what she didn’t value”(Huston, 76). At this point Janie had fully accepted the fact that she wasn’t going to have love in her marriage, and didn’t really care. At this point Janie’s character starts to develope into a more independent woman who cared less about what he husband wanted and more about what she wanted.
The main protagonist Delia is a African-American women which is the wife to an abusive man named Sykes who abuses her physically and mentally while committing infidelity. Delia is shown as an obedient wife due to how women didn’t really have power in the house hold in the time period of the early 1900’s most logically at 1920. Delia is subjugated to working as a maid due to the fact that African American women didn’t have as many job opportunities as African American men
Killicks provides Janie a want and a need to seek more fulfilling life. Starks provides Janie with this fulfilling life, but disables Janie to recognize and embrace her true self. Tea Cake provides Janie with the ability to find her voice, yet he, like Killicks and Starks, subjects her to a male-domineering nature. Each man provides Janie with new horizons, and each of those horizons provide her with the opportunity to re-invent herself. Although, as Toni Morrison states, Janie "had nothing to fall back on" and found herself to be alone, she has found a new connection to life, namely, one that does not center around a