Joelle Windmiller Their Eyes Were Watching God and Sexuality Their Eyes Were Watching God is in many ways a novel about the protagonist's sexual awakening. As it was written in the conservative early twentieth century, much of this sexuality is masked in metaphor. Zora Neale Hurston takes a naturalist approach to expressing sexuality in her book. The experience in which Janie attempts to make her first expression of love, Nanny resents her actions and proceeds to turn it into something to be ashamed of. After Nanny witnesses Johnny Taylor kiss Janie she scolds, “You just wants to hug and kiss and feel around with first one man and then another, huh?” (Page 13). In this quote, Nanny seems to be “slut shaming” Janie, and views her kiss as an …show more content…
Janie still strongly associates her views of sex with love, believing that the two must be linked. This is illustrated when Zora Neale Hurston gives us insight into Janie’s thought process by stating: “Yes, she would love Logan after they were married… Husbands and wives always loved each other, and that was what marriage meant.” (Page 21). Janie’s ingrained idea of the link between sex and love is very prominent here. It is interesting how Janie still has a romantic view of sex, even though her grandmother and mother were both raped. The protagonist sees sexuality as an expression of emotion, desire, beauty and affection. In complete contrast, many of the characters in the book view sexuality as something negative and to be ashamed of. They view it as dangerous, reckless, or as acts of dominance or violence. We see Janie trying to fight these perceptions throughout the book. Throughout the book, we see an idealistic view of love linked also very closely with innocence and youth. This is illustrated when Janie says, “‘Ah wants things sweet wid mah marriage lak when you sit under a pear tree and think.”’ (Page 24). In this quote, Janie expresses her idealistic desires surrounding marriage. Her reference to the pear tree perpetuates the theme that we see in the novel of Janie’s youth, and perception of love, evoking a reference to
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TEEWG Essay Symbols in literature can reveal characteristics, express ideas or give meaning to the work as a whole. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, symbols reveal the identity and purpose of the main character, Janie, In this novel, Janie struggles to find true purpose and meaning in her womanhood by searching for love. In the beginning of the novel, the horizon is used to symbolize not only what the world has to offer to Janie, but her aspirations and desires too. The horizon is Janie’s goal and ticket to find what she’s looking for.
The spirit of the marriage left the bedroom and took to living in the parlor. It was there to shake hands whenever company came to visit”. (71) Once again Janie is in a marriage in which there is no love or joy between the Husband and Wife. A marriage is supposed to be filled with joy and have mutual love but the way that joe silences Janie makes her feel nothing for him. They may have the titles of husband and wife but they do not support each other and they have no love for each other showing that they are not
(Pg 87) This quote represents the new masculine aspect of Janie. The masculine and ruthless properties that Janie exhibits redefine what a woman is and indicates what a woman is to her and what she thinks a woman should be. Janie married Joe as he represented freedom to her in that cycle of her life. She entered a man's world where she was a part of the dreams along the horizon.
Janie has many encounters with men where she felt love but she couldn’t maintain them. Her first husband held no love but rather only respect for Janie. The first husband was a gateway to her second lover, Jody. Jody loved Janie and she to him but as time progressed his ambitions destroyed what they had previously cherished.
Oprah’s Eyes Did Not Watch Oprah Winfrey changes the dynamic of Their Eyes Are Watching God, by creating her own script for the movie, instead of keeping the original dynamic from the novel. Janie’s strength had changed within herself and in her relationship with Jody; a love story and symbolism added; characters became missing: changing the story, and Eatonville and Everglades environments changed. Oprah Winfrey took and added ideas making it Oprah’s idea and twisting Zora Neale Hurston’s work.
Love plays an important part in the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. First of all Janie spent her days looking for love. She thought love was like an element of springtime. In the story she tells Phoebe about the day she spent under the pear tree and how she watched a bee pollinate a pear tree blossom. After she witnessed that, she found herself kissing a boy named Johnny Taylor.
“Their Eyes Were Watching God” is a novel written by Zora Neale Hurston. The novel portrays Janie, a middle aged black woman who tells her friend Pheoby Watson what has happened to her husband Tea Cake and her adventure. The resulting telling of her story portrays most of the novel. Throughout the novel, Zora Neale Hurston presents the theme of love, or being in a relationship versus freedom and independence, that being in a relationship may hinder one’s freedom and independence. Janie loves to be outgoing and to be able to do what she wants, but throughout the book the relationships that she is in with Logan,Jody and Tea Cake, does not allow her to do that.
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie merely wants to love someone, but that choice is ripped out of her hands when Nanny makes her marry someone she does not love. This marriage as well as another one does not work out because she never learns to love them. Finally, she meets Tea Cake, and falls madly in love with him even though he is a lot younger than she is. He is someone that she can truly love while still being able to be herself. They go through their struggles as well and sadly, he dies by the end of the novel.
People come into our lives for different reasons. Some leave a positive impact, while others bring negativity. Readers and critics alike have treasured Zora Neale Hurston’s 20th century novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, for generations particularly for its complex portrayal of the different main characters. The people a person meet and the experiences that person many go through in their lifetime can alter a person significantly. Through the tyrannical words of Joe Starks and the inconsiderate actions of Nanny, Janie in the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God is negatively influenced as her actions and thoughts alter her life.
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.
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie suffers from hardship in two relationships before she can find her true love. Janie explains to her best friend, Pheoby, how she searches for love. Therefore Pheoby wants to hear the true story, rather than listening to the porch sitters. Throughout the book Janie experiences different types of love with three different men; Logan Killicks, Joe Starks, and Vergible "Tea Cake" Woods. At 16 Janie marries Logan Killicks.
In the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, the protagonist Janie, is influenced by others to change her ideals. Hurston vividly portrays Janie’s outward struggle while emphasising her inward struggle by expressing Janie’s thoughts and emotions. In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening the protagonist is concisely characterized as having “that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions,” as Janie does. Janie conforms outwardly to her life but questions inwardly to her marriages with Logan Killicks, her first husband, and Joe Starks, her second husband; Janie also questions her grandmother's influence on what love and marriage is.
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
The “Rock Pile” by James Baldwin and “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston are two stories that examined black male resistance to emasculation. The men in these stories lived in patriarchal societies, and they reaped the benefits of a structure that favored men. In both of these stories, the male characters are dominant figures in their households, and when they felt like their manhood was being attacked, they retaliate viciously. In “Their eyes were watching god”
In The Eyes are Watching God, the author Zora Neale Hurston expresses the struggles of women and black societies of the time period. When Hurston published the book, communities were segregated and black communities were full of stereotypes from the outside world. Janie, who represents the main protagonist and hero, explores these communities on her journey in the novel. Janie shows the ideals of feminism, love, and heroism in her rough life in The Eyes. Janie, as the hero of the novel, shows the heroic qualities of determination, empathy, and bravery.