An Epic on Jaine’s Silence And her Expolaration of INNER-SELF Introduction In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston a young lady named Janie starts her life obscure to herself. She searches for the horizon as it illustrates the distance one must travel in order to distinguish between illusion and reality, dream and truth, role and self (Hemenway 75). She is unconscious of life’s two most valuable endowments: adore and reality. Janie is raised by her suppressive grandma who reduces her perspective of life.
Julie A. Haurykiewicz addresses the symbol of the mule in Their Eyes Were Watching God by comparing it to the silencing of the main protagonist Janie Crawford. Attention is also brought to the idea of muliebrity or the state or condition of being a woman, throughout the article. Haurykiewicz recognizes that Janie is often unheard or silenced before demonstrating her points, and that during these acts, the mule is often present. The first time the mule is presented in the story is when Janie’s Grandmother states that “the black women is de mule uh de world.” Janie’s Grandmother has first handily experienced the oppressions of blacks before and after the Civil War.
In the early 1900s, Janie struggles to find her self worth. In the book Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, expands on the story of a girl who goes through many different relationships before finding herself. Janie faces emotional abuse, insecurities, and a variety of men. Her grandmother taught her many life lessons and engraved in her head that she needed to find a man to take care of her for the rest of her life. Janie grows through each relationship and soon comes to the conclusion that she is able to care for herself.
Hurston and Janie both endured oppression during their lives based upon their race and gender however, their strong wills propelled them threw unforeseen obstacle. Zora Neale Hurston was a phenomenal African American woman whom despite her rough childhood would become one of the most profound authors of the century. Throughout her lifetime she was the, “Recipient of two Guggenheims and the author of four novels, a dozen short stories, two musicals, two books on black mythology, dozens of essays, and a prizewinning autobiography” (Gates 4). Hurston had to overcome numerous obstacles because of her gender, economic status, and racial identity. Hurston was born in 1891 in Notasulga, Alabama but grew up in Eatonville, Florida.
From a young age, many people are told that they have free will to do what they want and that their actions are what define them as a person; however, what people are told isn’t always the complete truth. In the realms of reality, individuals are always influenced by the people they spend the most time around to such an extent that it can change who they are as a person. Zora Neale Hurston 's novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, epitomizes such truth through the development of Janie, a women who grows from not knowing her own race or what love even means to someone that has gained and lost countless relationships with people. Initially, she marries a wealthy man named Logan Killicks for financial security, but then runs away with a man named
“Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone. Dawn and doom was in the branches” (Fitzgerald, 6). Life is a mirage of ups and downs and often the extent of these circumstances relies on reactions presented when the situation occurs. The use of voice can often completely change the outcome of an event. However, when one uses their voice depends on not only the internal confidence but also external factors that can influence the decision for the use of voice.
As much as a reader might agree with Sherley Anne Williams’ ideas of Hurston’s writing, there are some concepts a reader may question. Although the author, Sherley Anne Williams, was correct in suggesting Hurston including the shield of protection for Janie from her grandmother, Nanny, was not creating a picture of life looking like reality; however, her idea that Janie had an insufficient amount of wisdom about herself as a whole is inaccurate because Janie does have self-awareness as she chose who she wanted to be, even if the ideas were pushed away by others. Sherley Anne Williams includes a quick understanding of how Janie sees herself. Discussing how Janie saw her self for the first time in a picture, notiving she was black. Because Janie
Though the novel represents many feministic ideas in relation to marriage, it should not be read and discussed solely from this perspective. This statement is commented by Ramsey who claims that the story is “both a precursor to the modern feminist agenda yet also a reactionary tale embalming Hurston’s tender passions for a very traditional male” (1994: 38). In spite of the fact that the scholar agrees that Janie gains some self-belief and self-realization in the course of time, he still perceives her as a woman who cannot survive without a man by her side who would support her. It seems that she has a strong need to have someone by her side to support her when something goes wrong. This argument is confirmed by another researcher, Jennifer Jordan, who states that the protagonist “never perceives herself as an independent woman” (1988: 115).