Janie's Transformation In Their Eyes Were Watching God

1404 Words6 Pages

Maddie Kelsey
Ms. Zamora
English 3 P. 3
5 December 2014
I will neither give nor receive unauthorized aid.
In what ways do Logan, Jody and Tea Cake help or hinder Janie’s self-determination for change/chance/ and new horizons? *
Their Eyes Were Watching God
In 1937, Zora Neale Hurston published Their Eyes Were Watching God, a novel that forever changed societal views on women. The novel provides an insightful look at the development of a comprehensive, complex, undiminished human being, Janie Crawford. Centered around self-exploration, self-empowerment, and self-liberation, Janie recaps the event of her struggle to keep innocence as she learned the reality of a woman’s life. The book focuses around a principal theme; that personal encounters …show more content…

Her marriage to Logan began when Janie’s grandmother, who felt the obligation to send Janie off, bound her to a male figure hoping to ensure protection and wealth. Although not totally convinced, Janie chooses to trust Nanny’s word and more or less, agrees to the arrangement. Logan had expectancies for Janie, forcing her assistance on his farm as well as tending to the many womanly chores. His love was shown in a way that caused Janie to comply, hoping to scilicet her love and devotion. Logan states, "You ain’t got no particular place. It’s wherever Ah need yuh. Git uh move on yuh, and dat quick." (Hurston 31). The allowance of such domination lies in the ideology of women being submissive to men. By forcing Janie to give in to control, he desecrates the pear tree, Janie’s ideal of love and marriage. This alienation sadly marks Janie as a victim of men. Janie’s relationship with Logan ultimately destroys her romantic conception of love: “She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman” (24). Hurston suggests quite clearly that it is only through loss, not fulfillment that Janie begins to develop as a character. Logan dominates Janie, forcing her to be submissive to his wants, but this domination is essentially necessary because it triggers the sense of …show more content…

Vergil “Tea Cake” brings compassion and true love into the void in Janie’s life. Tea Cake was everything, everything and more Janie wanted and needed. He made her remember the dreams she once had and the horizons she once felt she was nearing. For example, Tea Cake tries to boost Janie’s esteem when he tries to get her to really understand how beautiful she is. For the first time in a long time, Janie does go ahead and looks into the mirror; finally regaining the assurance self- esteem her previous husbands had deprived from her. However, Tea Cake had problems of his own, all of which were unimportant to Janie due to his genuine pursuit and love of her. He struggled to change for Janie and to put aside his own wants. Even as Janie ended up finding the man of her dreams in Tea Cake, his untimely death ends all that could have been. Although deeply regretting having to kill Teacake in self- defense, Janie comes full circle in her development. She now knows who she is and has found “peace” in the closing lines the narrator tells us, “She pulled in her horizon like a great fishnet.” Through this quote Janie shows that she no longer has to subside to societal opinions, for she has found the voice within herself. She has, at this point, become so much more of a person than when she was just a young and spoiled child with her grandmother back home. She is changed very

Open Document