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Janie's Self-Discovery

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Self-discovery is essential to a prosperous life. In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie, the main character, discovers who she is through her relationships. Janie learns from each of her experiences, but the most significant are her husbands: Logan, Jody, and Tea Cake. Each of these people attempt to control her thoughts and actions, but Janie rebels against them. Janie stands up for what she believes in, and through these confrontations, she better understands herself. Janie reacts in different ways to people in her life trying to control her, and this can be seen with Grannie, Jody, and Tea Cake. Grannie forces her to marry Logan, but Janie stands up for herself when she decides to leave him after Grannie dies. Throughout the novel Janie is looking for love, and she…show more content…
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). Janie goes along with Jody’s requests for a while before she realizes what he is doing to her. Jody needed to have complete dominance of everything in Janie’s life to be content with their relationship, and when Janie had different opinions than his, this caused problems in their relationship. In another instance, Jody insults Janie’s age, which leads to a significant argument between them. When Jody insults Janie, it is accepted in their society, but Janie finally gets fed up when she says, “But Ah’m uh woman every inch of me, and Ah know it. Dat’s uh whole lot more’n you kin say… When you pull down yo’ britches, you look lak de change uh life” (Hurston 79). Janie stands up for herself and verbally attacks her husband, which was unusual for the time
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