In her epiphany from Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie realizes her intrinsic capacity as an individual, and frees herself from Jody’s covetous ways in the act of letting down her hair. In the quote, “She tore off the kerchief from her plentiful hair...the glory was there,” Janie’s hair symbolizes her power and strength because it holds glory. By Janie releasing her hair, she finally notices the greatness that she has, which allows her to now view herself as eminent individual whom has independence. Because Jody made her tie her hair up as a device to hinder her individuality and identity in their marriage, he is intimidated by her reluctance to comply with his controlling demands. By Janie letting down her hair as an act of liberation after
In the novel How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Thomas Foster discusses the importance of Geography in literature, particularly the idea that “ when writers send characters south, it’s so they could run amok” (Foster 179). This idea emerges in Zora Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God as Janie travels to discover her identity. Janie feels tied down by the people in her life, particularly her husband Joe in Eatonville. She comments that he “wanted me tuh sit wid folded hands and sit dere. And Ah’d sit dere wid de walls creepin’ up on me and squeezin’ all de life out of me” (Hurston 112). Joe would treat her as a decoration on the wall, not a human being, leaving Janie feeling trapped and unknowing of who she is. According to Foster,
In “Their eyes were watching god” Hurston tells the story of Janie, a black woman who because of her grandmother experiences and beliefs was forced to marry into a loveless marriage with Logan Killicks, a hard-working farmer who had 60 acres of land and could provide for Janie. This marriage ended when Janie ran away with Joe Stark, a man that she fell in love with and thought could give her the love absent between her and Logan. But Janie soon realized that her second marriage wouldn’t turn out better than her first. Joe was just as controlling and degrading as Logan. He hardly expressed his love for Janie and spoke to her like an incompetent child. Janie didn 't start living until Joe died and she met Teacake. With Teacake Janie felt alive, they understood and respected each other. Their marriage was full of love and compassion, two things that Janie always wanted. Her marriage with Teacake ended in a tragedy, but Janie felt like she lived a life full of new beginnings, and she was content with that.
The black culture is very diverse in different parts of the world-even in different parts of the state. Janie as moved throughout Florida to places such as West Florida, Eatonville, and the Everglades. Residing in these different places helps develop and define the character of Janie. Throughout Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie experiences many variations of black culture that helps build her character as she travels through Florida.
In the book, “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, Janie had many relationships with men. And just like all of her other male companions, Tea Cake played second fiddle to the main character of Janie. In “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, Janie had many different love interest which included the likes of Logan Killicks, Jody Starks, and eventually Tea Cake. Before meeting Tea Cake, Janie was just stringing along in two different marriages that just were not in Janie’s favor in terms of her happiness. Janie’s first two husbands ended up basically being duds when it comes to pleasing and treating Jane properly. However, Janie appeared to have finally found her true happiness once she met Tea Cake.
Despite having drastically different personalities, each of her three Marriages ended in failure or tragedy due to the pride of the three men. Hurston’s characterization of Janie’s three husbands represents three different types of men: Logan- The work-horse, and Teacake - The Free spirit and Joe. Joe Starks is clearly the most ambitious of these three men. however, Joe is also the cruelest and most despicable of the three husbands. The author uses Joe’s ambition to Justify his actions and in doing so shows the consequences of them such as His relationship wife deteriorating, the townspeople resenting him, and his public shaming, and cursing of his wife on his
3. Janie wears an apron, a head rag, and overalls at the most significant points in her life. Analyze the way in which the clothing reflects her inner self and how Hurston's use of clothing is symbolic of Janie's development throughout the novel.
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.
Self-discovery is essential to a prosperous life. In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie, the main character, discovers who she is through her relationships. Janie learns from each of her experiences, but the most significant are her husbands: Logan, Jody, and Tea Cake. Each of these people attempt to control her thoughts and actions, but Janie rebels against them. Janie stands up for what she believes in, and through these confrontations, she better understands herself. Janie reacts in different ways to people in her life trying to control her, and this can be seen with Grannie, Jody, and Tea Cake.
In Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston Janie is held back from growing to her full potential. Janie is married three times and in each marriage there is one item that restrains her. In her marriage with Joe she was forced to wear a head rag to cover her hair because it is so long and beautiful.
At 16 Janie marries Logan Killicks. Nanny arranges this marriage for protection and not for love. As a result of her past, she forced Janie into being with Logan. In this marriage, Janie shows that she does not love him. She states, "Ah wants things sweet wid mah marriage lak when you sit under a pear tree and think. Ah..." (Hurston 24). Logan does not show any love for Janie. Janie’s unhappiness taught her that love can not be forced upon anyone.
Janie realizes what she deserves in a marriage and runs off with Starks to live a happy life with him. Things do not go as planned for Janie as she starts to realize how manipulative Joe Starks is of her. Starks has full control over Janie with his tyrannical behavior and takes things even further when he establishes complete dominance over Janie. Janie soon realizes that Starks has taken advantage of her “It was her image of Jody tumbled down and shattered. But looking at it she saw that it never was the flesh and blood figure of her dreams. Just something she had grabbed up to drape her dreams over” (Hurston 72). Janie figures out that Joe is not the man she had married when the “image of Jody tumbled down” she begins to understand that Joe was not at all significant to her because he never cared for her and instead he was a bad influence. Janie figures out that he “never was the flesh and blood figure of her dreams” the life she desires of with Joe Starks, is an allusion and Janie’s dreams are once again crushed. Janie is deceived by Joe because he represents empty dreams for Janie, he was a “drape [for] her dreams” Joe took advantage of Janie and manipulates her to do excessive labour for him in the store and constantly silences her. Furthermore, Joe Starks never treats Janie with respect as he views her as an object and spends his time commanding her. Joe pushes away the opportunity
Toni Morrison’s A Mercy portrays a young slave, Florens, struggles with her past as well as her life as a slave. Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God shows a woman, Janie, who struggles through various relationships in her life, but in the end, they help her find her freedom and individualism. Both stories have different story lines, but upon a closer look, it is easy to see that Florens and Janie have common factors in their lives; which includes, both characters are isolated by others, both characters want to love someone, both character’s guardians make decisions for them that they do not understand which causes conflict, and finally, both characters commit difficult actions which ends up changing their lives.
“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. Neale Hurston further supports this theme with symbolism, like Janie's hair rag that held up her
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston can be characterized as an African-American novel; at least, according to Toni Morrison’s criteria for this genre of novel, it can be. Morrison claims that for a novel to be categorized as African-American, it must contain three things: a “community commenting on or responding to the action,” “the presence of an ancestor” who provides insight and wisdom to the main character, and “an oral quality.” This novel contains all three of these criteria in the forms of characters like Nanny Crawford and the porch-sitters, and in Janie’s oral telling of her story to her friend Pheoby Watson. Through these characteristics, Their Eyes Were Watching God makes a connection to traditional African storytelling