Lost Innocence In Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

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In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, we follow our protagonist, Janie, through a journey of self-discovery. We watch Janie from when she was a child to her adulthood, slowly watching her ideals change while other dreams of hers unfortunately die. This is shown when Jane first formulates her idea of love, marriage, and intimacy by comparing it to a pear tree; erotic, beautiful, and full of life. After Janie gets married to her first spouse, Logan Killicks, she doesn’t see her love fantasy happening, but she waits because her Nanny tells her that love comes after marriage. Janie, thinking that Nanny is wise beyond her years, decides to wait. But, as Logan continues to snap at Janie day to day, she becomes even more uninterested. While avoiding Logan, sitting under a tree, Janie comes to a realization; “She knew that marriage did …show more content…

Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman.” This realization made by Janie supports one of the biggest themes in this novel, which is that the concept of innocence and womanhood can’t exist at the same time. Because Janie finally lets go of her “childish fantasy”, her innocence is lost and she is now a woman. The theme of lost innocence in exchange for womanhood is also prevalent in Hurston’s story Sweat. This idea is one of the reasons that Sykes and Delia’s relationship begins to fall apart when we meet them. One example of innocence without womanhood is when Janie first creates her pear tree fantasy. When Janie first sees the bee pollinating the flower, she is only sixteen years old. The scene in general seems to have an erotic undertone to it. Janie watches the bee “sink into the sanctum of a bloom,”

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