Their Eyes Were Watching God Analysis

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In Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, the main character, Janie, struggles to accomplish her dreams and establish herself for who she is. This dream is constantly changing as Janie matures, meeting new people and learning from her experiences. In addition, Hurston creates a clear division between men and women that is seen and developed throughout the novel. This theme of gender impacts how power is held and the associations between characters. Many women are silenced by their husbands and cannot be themselves. Men, as developed by Hurston, are connected with control and dominance. These conflicts directly influence Janie’s maturity and therefore her dreams. As a woman, Janie struggles to find balance between finding her dream of true love with a husband while still remaining free. Hurston uses the motif of the horizon and the road to represent the dreams and opportunities sought after and the obstacles required to accomplish them.
Hurston primarily uses the motif and symbol of the horizon to function as a representation of the constantly changing dreams and goals of Janie. Throughout the novel, Janie consistently references this horizon as she sees the successes and failures around her in life. At first, Janie’s dream, and thus reaching the horizon, is marriage (Hurston 25). Initially, she accomplishes this when her grandmother, Nanny, forces her to marry Logan Killicks. After settling together this marriage becomes a burden and Logan “(buys) a mule fuh
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