Literary Techniques In Their Eyes Were Watching God

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In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie goes through many ups -- finding true love, becoming independent -- and downs -- being abused physically and verbally, being subordinate to everyone -- before eventually discovering a complete sense of awareness. Throughout the novel, Hurston uses multiple literary techniques and devices to prove the idea that in order to become completely self aware, people must depend only on themselves and not on others. Throughout the entirety of the book, Hurston challenges the stereotypes of blacks. Hurston disputes the idea that blacks were incapable for love and romance because of their color and their apparent unintelligence (James 230). After two failed marriages, Janie finally…show more content…
Joe states, “somebody got to think for women and chillun and chickens and cows. I god, they sho don’t think none theirselves . . . Ah see one thing and Ah understands ten. . . you see ten things and don’t understand one” (71). In Their Eyes Were Watching God, all women are portrayed as incapable of doing or understanding anything. Therefore, Hurston proves her belief that males feel the need to overpower women and show their dominance (Telgen and Hile 306). At the beginning of the novel, Janie is under inferior to men and allows them to be the boss of her. She lives under their shadows. Joe states that “she’s [Janie] a woman and her place is in de home” (43). Janie stays quiet and is unable to stand up for herself because she believes Joe. She believes that she her only place is “in de home” and that that is always where she will be. Because of this, she does exactly what is expected of her and nothing else when with Joe. However, marrying Tea Cake enabled her to be free from the submissive female role she was living -- “her shadow existEnce” (Kaplan 2304). After getting to know Tea Cake more, he teaches her how to play checkers, “he set it up and began to show her and she found herself glowing inside” (95). Janie’s previous husbands would have never played checkers with her because they believed she is too stupid to understand it and that her only role is to keep them happy, not herself happy. Tea Cake allows her to feel free from the female role of being in the home. She glows because she realizes she has been oppressed her entire life and is just now starting to discover true
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