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Janie's Inward Struggle In 'Their Eyes Were Watching God'?

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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. During Janie's first marriage, she outwardly conforms to the societal view of marriage, and the domestic wife, while inwardly questioning if she can learn to disregard her true…show more content…
Janie’s grandmother, Nanny, forces Janie to marry a man she is not in love with out of convenience. Nanny does not want Janie to suffer the necessities of life, but Janie cares little about materials and seeks love. Nanny’s ideology haunts Janie for much of her life, influencing decisions she takes later in marriage. Huston says, “The memory of Nanny was still powerful and strong,” which shows how Janie conforms to the ideology her grandmother instilled in her. And although Janie conforms, she continues to question inwardly about love. Nanny did not believe in love, so Janie had little guidance in how one can find love. Janie does not realize until the end, that one must “go there tuh know there”(192). In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston shows how society and influences can cause someone to hide himself and conform to the expectations of others. Janie was a strong person inside but conformity hid her from the rest of the world. Hurston describes Janie’s quest to finding love and to recovering herself, though
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