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Stereotypes In Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Is it worth risking everything in order to be happy? In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, an African American woman named Janie makes many challenging decisions in order to be happy. This novel takes place in the 1920’s which creates many obstacles that Janie must overcome in order to achieve happiness. There are many stereotypes and inequalities during this time that make life extremely difficult for Janie. Although Janie allows others to mistreat her at points throughout the novel, she is overall an excellent role model for young readers because she overcomes several stereotypes of African American females during this time period, and she makes many difficult decisions based solely on her own happiness. Janie allows men to treat her poorly several times throughout the novel. After Janie and her husband Joe Starks argue in the store about their age, Joe Starks, “struck Janie with all his might and drove her from the store” (80). By not retaliating immediately after being beaten, Janie is not portraying a powerful role model for young readers. After Sop-de-Bottom tells Tea Cake how he’s lucky that he gets to beat Janie, Tea Cake responds with, “Ah didn’t whup Janie ‘cause she…show more content…
Being a woman of color in the 1920’s was no easy task. Gender and racial inequalities have made progress throughout history, however during the time of this novel, and even in our modern day world they are still present and causing conflict. This is an issue that should be focused on and taken more seriously. In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie does a fantastic job overcoming several of these inequalities in order to pursue her own happiness, overall depicting her as an extremely powerful role model for young
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