Janie’s life changed she spent her money and her time once Tea Cake had gotten sick to the point where he could not even drink water. Situations like this show how a strong marriage is supposed to work because in your loved ones time of need that’s when it is most important to be by their side. Janie never left Tea Cakes side although he attempted to murder her resulting in his death she always remained faithful and a good wife. Janie clearly believes the terms “In Sickness and In Health, Till Death Do Us Part” showing the basis of a strong marriage. Things like this are very important in today’s society giving references to the way life is because as it has also been stated by another famous author/poet “Life Ain’t No Crystal Stair”.
The people in Eatonville only focus on her light skin, and treat her like an outsider. The people gossip about her and wonder why she left town with Tea Cake, a younger and poorer man. Throughout her life, Janie is never able to make her own decisions, and is defined by her husbands. Upon her return to Eatonville after the death of her third husband, Tea Cake, Janie discovers who she is, and decides to narrate her story with a powerful female voice. During the storytelling session, Janie talks words of wisdom to Pheoby.
They soon decide on marriage, and Janie gets a new, blue satin dress, earrings, high heels, and a necklace that Tea Cake has picked out for her. Unlike her previous husbands, she wants to make Tea Cake proud of her and proud to be married to her. When they leave to work on the muck, Tea Cake introduces another idea that is exciting for Janie as it is the start of something new “Folks don’t do nothin’ down dere but make money and fun and foolishness” (128). Life on the muck is consistently exciting. In comparison to her last few marriages, she has had a much better life with Tea Cake.
Maya Angelou once said “I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn” and this applies to Janie when going through her marriages with Logan, Joe, and Tea Cake. In Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, she expresses how a girl can mature through her womanhood by facing many obstacles in her life, but not allowing them to stop her but to make her better. The use of motifs help the reader grasp a better understanding of the change and progress by using items such as the pear tree, the mule, and Janie’s hair to provide a deeper understanding of the context. There was plenty of symbolic representation in the book such as the pear tree which symbolizes Janie’s life and how through each marriage she grew on to the peach tree. The idea
Hurston uses Janie’s hair and her head wrap as symbols to show that independence is essential to be happy. Janie’s head wrap is symbolic because it keeps her hair from flowing freely, just like how Joe Starks is keeping her from being free. Joe isn’t fond of the way the other men in the town are drooling over Janie’s hair and decides Janie should wear a head wrap at all times, “This business of the head-rag irked her endlessly. But Jody was set on it.
However, she grows even stronger thanks to all the judging that she receives from the people close to her; starting from her grandmother, passing through her death-husband, Joe Starks, and the gossip-lovers of the Eatonville. As soon as the story starts there are people judging the way Janie dresses and what they judge even more is the way she wears her hair. As they angrily ask ‘’what dat ole forty year ole ’oman doin’ wid her hair swingin’ down her back lak some young gal?’’ (Hurston 2) the readers are able to see that the people of the town are not used to see women looking the way Janie looks, therefore they find it inappropriate. In the novel Janie’s hair represents strength and independency.
Some amount of time after Joe dies, Janie marries Tea Cake and has, for the first time, a happy marriage. However, this marriage is still short-lived. Janie is forced to shoot her husband while he is under the influence of rabies in order to save herself. This later leads to a court case, which is the ultimate proving point of Janie's strongest powers: her will and choice. Janie's choice to not “plead to anybody” (Hurston 236) and to only say what she needed to proved her own power.
However, Janie is an African-American woman that has an overprotective grandmother, who insists that her granddaughter gets married pronto. Nonetheless, in the long run, she realizes that love she can turn and change when it is compared to the start of each of her relationships. Noticeably, when she is with Jody, a mayor of Eatonville, instead of providing her with protection after being married for nearly twenty years, he violently assaults her. Additionally, after she gets remarried to Tea Cakes, she is faced with the fact that he got rabies and has become paranoiac as he thinks that Janie is unfaithful, causing him to threaten her existence with a gun, eventually making her to kill her to save her own life.
Killicks provides Janie a want and a need to seek more fulfilling life. Starks provides Janie with this fulfilling life, but disables Janie to recognize and embrace her true self. Tea Cake provides Janie with the ability to find her voice, yet he, like Killicks and Starks, subjects her to a male-domineering nature. Each man provides Janie with new horizons, and each of those horizons provide her with the opportunity to re-invent herself. Although, as Toni Morrison states, Janie "had nothing to fall back on" and found herself to be alone, she has found a new connection to life, namely, one that does not center around a
On Judgment Day, people confess their poor decisions and allow everyone else to judge them. The citizens of Eatonville hope to discover that Janie was robbed by Tea Cake in order to judge her and scorn her actions. Pheoby, Janie’s friend, encourages Janie to tell the truth before Judgment Day and to prevent any hostile actions. However, Janie says that they are too focused on other people’s lives and that no matter what Janie says, they will judge her badly. As long as Janie and her friend know the truth, Janie does not care about the useless opinions of others.
The answers to her prayers came in the form of Tea Cake, a young man twelve years her junior who was a little infamous amongst the townspeople for his mischievous antics. Tea Cake loves Janie genuinely, and doesn’t try to keep her from being who she wants to be. Although he dies before he and Janie are able to spend many years together, marrying him has an effect on Janie that causes her to forget her past grievances, and consider herself as an independent person like she always hoped to be. After Tea Cake, Janie is a free woman in that she is no longer under the oppressive restraints that she once allowed to hold her back from a life she considers worth living.
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.
While working in the store, Joe makes Janie wear a head rag so that it would cover up her hair from the other men gazing at her luscious hair. Hurston writes about Janie’s realization of her situation by mentioning, “Her hair was NOT going to show in the store….She was there in the store for him to look at, not those others” (Hurston 73). Joe clearly illustrates that Janie’s sole purpose is to serve and please only him. Joe will do as much as to demand Janie to wear her hair in certain ways so it doesn’t distract any of the
Primarily, Janie gains strength and courage through these two adverse relationships and finally finds her desired love with Tea Cake. Generally, Tea Cake is a fun-loving, affectionate man who provides Janie with respect, equality, strength, and independence. Janie gains her own sense of self along with a great deal of freedom and fortitude. Tea Cake acts as a catalyst, providing Janie with autonomy and genuine love during a time period in which Africans experienced animosity and