He is constantly trying to fill his love with possessions to give to janie instead of caring for her and telling her how much he really loves her. Joe also is very controlling of Janie and even begins to tell her what to wear and how she should put up her hair, “‘Whut make her keep her head tied up lak some ole ‘oman round de store?’” (Hurston 68). Joe begins to force things upon her and separate her from her friends. Joe loves power and change much more than he loves Janie and as a result he tries to control her and create her into something she is not.
Zora Neal Hurston’s 1933 short story, The Gilded Six-Bits is about the fate of a young, married couple Joe and Missie May set in Eatonville, Florida an all African-American town. Joe and Missie May seem to have it all: good looks, love, and a bright future ahead of them until Otis D. Slemmons come to town. Slemmons is the flashy dresser and fast city talker flaunting his gold and style. He moved from Chicago to the south because he said that wanted to travel some. He owns the ice cream parlor in Eatonville.
This is a clear demonstration of Joe trying to garner the attention of the townsfolk so that the admiration he is hoping to get will boost his pride. Further evidence that his pride is the reason for many of his actions is when Janie remarks upon Joe’s funeral, calling it “the finest thing Orange County had ever seen with Negro eyes” (88). These statements indicate Joe had more to be proud of even in death than the average folks in town had in life. Joe’s purchase of the “big house” with “two stories” and “porches
Dese strange men runnin’ heah tryin’ tuh take advantage of yo’ condition.” (Hurston,
All of Joe Rantz life, he was constantly let down by those around him, especially his own family. However, he never let his feelings be revealed due to his desire to keep his reputation for being masculine alive. Because of this, many people including his own girlfriend, Joyce Sindars viewed him as this impassive and impenetrable person: “ ‘I just don’t understand why you don’t get angry Joe’... ‘It takes energy to get angry … When they left, it took everything I had in me just to survive. Now I have to stay focused.
Later in the novel, Joe is diagnosed with a failure in his
She thinks that women are the mules of the world, women, just like mules are forced to carry around the men’s possessions, but it it not only the white men who take advantage of the black women, it is also black men who make them carry “de load”. Wright may ignore this blatant example of what Hurston is communicating because he doesn't agree with it or he doesn't like how she portrays men. Like mules, women don’t have any say in where they go, what they carry, and when they get there. Women have to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders, they are there simply to serve men, just like mules they are the lowest of the low. Everyone treats black women as if they are animals.
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.
Throughout their marriage Janie learns that Joe doesn’t treat her right, he treats her like an object. Janie begins to hate Joe, and she insults him in front of the whole town. Soon Joe becomes very ill, and Janie doesn’t talk to him for
In Chapter Five of the novel, Janie describes Joe’s impact on the people of the town of Eatonville and his unique dominance qualities: “There was something about Joe Starks that cowed the town. It was not because of physical fear. He was no fist fighter. His bulk was not even imposing as men go. Neither was it because he was more literate than the rest.
Joe is worried that the other men might touch Janie’s hair and he does not want that because he is really jealous. It is not right for Joe to tell Janie how to have her hair only because he his very jealous. Joe is also not a good husband because he just uses her as a trophy wife. The book says, “She was there in the store for him to look at, not those others” (55). He is just using Janie to look at in the store for his entertainment and nothing else.
He becomes Mayor of the town he started and tries to makes Janie suppress her spirit. A symbol of the suppression is the head rag that he insists that Janie wears in the store. She as not to show people her hair and Joe did not want her talking to the townspeople. “He didn't want her talking after such trashy people. “ You’se Mrs. Mayor Starks, Janie.”
He is alone; he has no job opportunity in Washington because Roy has died. But Joe is happy. Joe has finally faced unlocked that “hidden thing” and he has embraced it. Joe’s secret exists no more, and he gains that confidence and sureness that he was missing. Although Joe loses everyone else, he finds himself.
In Hurston’s, “The Gilded Six Bits”, what is conveyed is that materialistic things, and the natural greediness of human nature, can tempt and distract people from what they actually have and affect their happiness.