“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. Neale Hurston further supports this theme with symbolism, like Janie's hair rag that held up her
Desire is a general and popular human sensation. Zora Neale Hurston discusses many instances of desire in Their Eyes Were Watching God. The novel portrays numerous varieties of desire that demonstrate the protagonist, Janie’s alteration from wanting an object to desiring a specific idea throughout the novel. As Janie acquires her own desires and possibly lives a better and more fulfilling life, Hurston indicates that these desires are in fact not structured by Janie’s own thoughts and experiences, but rather implicated by antagonists in the novel and also often making Janie the desired focus. Through the first four chapters of Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston allows Janie to experience multiple life altering desires that mold her into
In Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie is a young woman who struggles to find her identity. Janie Separates her exterior life from her interior life by keeping certain thoughts and emotions inside her head, and she reconciles this by while presenting the proper woman society expects her to be. Janie also silently protests to those expectations by acting against what people require of her, both emotionally and physically.
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).
Toni Morrison’s A Mercy portrays a young slave, Florens, struggles with her past as well as her life as a slave. Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God shows a woman, Janie, who struggles through various relationships in her life, but in the end, they help her find her freedom and individualism. Both stories have different story lines, but upon a closer look, it is easy to see that Florens and Janie have common factors in their lives; which includes, both characters are isolated by others, both characters want to love someone, both character’s guardians make decisions for them that they do not understand which causes conflict, and finally, both characters commit difficult actions which ends up changing their lives.
In The Eyes are Watching God, the author Zora Neale Hurston expresses the struggles of women and black societies of the time period. When Hurston published the book, communities were segregated and black communities were full of stereotypes from the outside world. Janie, who represents the main protagonist and hero, explores these communities on her journey in the novel. Janie shows the ideals of feminism, love, and heroism in her rough life in The Eyes. Janie, as the hero of the novel, shows the heroic qualities of determination, empathy, and bravery.
In her epiphany from Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie realizes her intrinsic capacity as an individual, and frees herself from Jody’s covetous ways in the act of letting down her hair. In the quote, “She tore off the kerchief from her plentiful hair...the glory was there,” Janie’s hair symbolizes her power and strength because it holds glory. By Janie releasing her hair, she finally notices the greatness that she has, which allows her to now view herself as eminent individual whom has independence. Because Jody made her tie her hair up as a device to hinder her individuality and identity in their marriage, he is intimidated by her reluctance to comply with his controlling demands. By Janie letting down her hair as an act of liberation after
In Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston Janie is held back from growing to her full potential. Janie is married three times and in each marriage there is one item that restrains her. In her marriage with Joe she was forced to wear a head rag to cover her hair because it is so long and beautiful.
Her Story, Her Voice The unique story that is Their Eyes Were Watching God is a story of voices collected together to create one big voice. Hurston uses many characters’ voices to help Janie find her own, actual voice and tell her story by the end of the novel. The story by Zora Neale Hurston is a frame story which is a story within a story. Hurston, like many other authors, uses the frame narrative to help the story come full circle and create a sense that the reader is part of the story.
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie suffers from hardship in two relationships before she can find her true love. Janie explains to her best friend, Pheoby, how she searches for love. Therefore Pheoby wants to hear the true story, rather than listening to the porch sitters. Throughout the book Janie experiences different types of love with three different men; Logan Killicks, Joe Starks, and Vergible "Tea Cake" Woods.
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.
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 tells the story of how one man, Tea Cake, changes how a grown woman named Janie views life, opportunity, and happiness. Zora Neale Hurston employs parallelism in order to reveal the dynamic of this relationship between Janie and Tea Cake and writes, “He drifted off into sleep and Janie looked down on him and felt a self-crushing love. So her soul crawled out from its hiding place” (Hurston 128). At the very end of the book, Hurston writes again, “Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net.
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie’s flaws about love continuously brought her to the same ending with all of her husbands, no matter how long the marriage lasted. In The Odyssey, Calypso was trapped on an island to fall in love with men who washed ashore. The fatality of her faults was her over affection and her need for love while being so alone on her island, Ogygia. Their weaknesses are exact opposites, specifically in their relationships with men. The flaws are role in relationship, attachment to men, and lastly, their submissiveness to men.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston can be characterized as an African-American novel; at least, according to Toni Morrison’s criteria for this genre of novel, it can be. Morrison claims that for a novel to be categorized as African-American, it must contain three things: a “community commenting on or responding to the action,” “the presence of an ancestor” who provides insight and wisdom to the main character, and “an oral quality.” This novel contains all three of these criteria in the forms of characters like Nanny Crawford and the porch-sitters, and in Janie’s oral telling of her story to her friend Pheoby Watson. Through these characteristics, Their Eyes Were Watching God makes a connection to traditional African storytelling