Their Eyes Were Watching God Character Analysis

1000 Words4 Pages

Ragini Mohan
Mr. Benedict
Acc English 10
24 February 2023
Nanny’s Selfless Intentions, and Janie’s Hatred
Most of us could agree that our parents sacrifice a lot for our well-being, and a better life. However, we may not always see eye to eye in this, similar to Janie and her grandmother. In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, the main character, Janie, experiences several marriages on her quest to find love. Her first marriage was arranged by her grandmother, causing Janie to despise her. Janie villainizes and misunderstands her grandmother, Nanny, who holds selfless intentions toward her.
As a former slave, Nanny lived a life full of misfortune. Nanny believes Janie’s marriage to Logan is the best way for her to …show more content…

Put me down easy, Janie, Ah’m a cracked plate,’” (Hurston 20). Nanny experienced an immense amount of hardship during her youth. She was a slave, was raped, beaten, and after she was finally emancipated, her daughter was raped and became an alcoholic. Nanny never had a source of stability or safety in her life. Instead, she works extremely hard to bring this to Janie. Nanny did not want to see Janie taken advantage of in the same way that she was; instead choosing to work as a nanny to a white woman in order to provide food and land for her granddaughter. Because of her early life experience, her value of stability was very rational. In her mind, Logan Killicks was an ideal candidate to be Janie’s husband, because he was wealthy, had plenty of land, and had a stable career. He would be able to provide for Janie, which Nanny never had. Nanny again stresses that she would never …show more content…

Even after her marriage, the men who tried to woo her only wanted to be with her for status. After Jody’s death, many men attempt to propose to Janie. She reflects on this, deciding that, “This freedom feeling was fine. These men didn’t represent a thing she wanted to know about. She had already experienced them through Logan and Jody,” (Hurston 92-93). The men who were trying to court her were only trying to do so for status. Janie had high status by this point, being the beautiful wife of the former mayor. In both of her former marriages, Janie was used. Jody desired Janie purely for her looks so that she could be his trophy wife, nothing more than an asset to show off. Logan viewed her as a spoiled girl whom he would make his farm wife, or just as a replacement for his first wife. Janie reflects on this, realizing that “she had already experienced [the men] through Logan and Jody.” Her experience of “the men” is of men that restrained her freedom. Both Logan and Jody restrict her, and now that Jody had died, she could finally experience freedom. Another marriage would simply repeat this cycle, and she would become “Janie, [this man’s] wife,” rather than just “Janie.” Janie, all throughout her life, was used by men, a striking contradiction to her grandmother. Despite Nanny having Janie’s best interests in mind, Janie disregards this. During Jody’s funeral, Janie contemplates her

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