Janie's Wife Commentary

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The opening line introduces a symbol “ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board”. Effectively setting the tone for the rest of the novel, it causes the audience to ponder the question of whether their golden time has already passed, or is their dream still a possibly. The novel does not immediately begin with the protagonist but with women sitting on a porch, gossiping. As soon as Janie enters, the women know her and immediately criticize her clothing as well as her refusal to stop and share her personal story of why she was gone, especially with a much younger man named Tea Cake. The audience is confronted with rumors way before any real truth is revealed. The women’s gossiping and knowledge creates a small-town mentality …show more content…

It surmises that women have much more control of their dreams and hopes than men do. Because the author began this novel with this gender difference the audience can assume that this will later become an important theme, especially with the main character Janie. The protagonist, Janie is characterized as looking very youthful effectively stating that the only way Janie was to be with a younger man was either for her money or looks. Yet, in reality this is not the case but it showcases the archaic mentality of the superiority of men especially in this society. Pearl states that “[her] husband ain’t fussy” but in reality women were considered property in this time period. It was commonplace for a man to beat his wife or child; this especially contrasts with Janie’s independence. It’s also important to note that while the southern jargon these woman use many sound faintly illiterate they are not unintelligent women. I consider myself independent so I very much relate to Janie’s various urges thus far. My mother always stated that she was fearful that her mother raised her to rely too much on other people so she raised my two sisters and I to dependent on almost no one and to be as self-sufficient as possible. As I read continue to read about Janie I definitely think I will see aspects of myself in

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