Their Eyes Were Watching God Identity Essay

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Zora Neale Hurston wrote the novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God," which was released in 1937. The book is recognized as one of Hurston's most significant achievements and as a classic of African American literature. The novel is centered in the rural South and revolves around Janie Crawford, as she experiences love, death, and finding out who she is. The novel examines the theme of gender roles. It is a powerful story of a woman's struggle to be heard and to live her life according to her own principles. Zora Neale Hurston develops Janie’s identity throughout her relationship with Tea Cake to portray early 20th century gender roles in Their Eyes Were Watching God through Tea Cake’s love and respect for Janie, as well as his honor of her individuality. …show more content…

He is not nearly as rich or well-known in society as Janie. Janie fights against social standards and limitations as she tries to develop her identity and individuality and find her place in the world. Janie is treated equally by Tea Cake, who also pushes her to follow her own passions and aspirations. In contrast to her former husband Jody Starks, he does not attempt to dominate or control her. He encourages and appreciates her individuality instead. As a result, Janie can experience feelings of herself and security for the first time. Through their adventures and experiences, Janie discovers her role as a woman in her relationship with Tea Cake through defying conventional gender roles and standards. In comparison to Janie's former life as a rich woman, they now live as migrant workers in the Everglades. Janie gains an appreciation for the importance of perseverance and financial security. Janie develops a newfound respect for manual labor and the pleasure of supporting herself through her job in the fields with Tea Cake. "There was a suppressed murmur when she picked up a basket and went to work. She was already getting to be a special case on the muck. It was generally assumed that she thought herself too good to work like the rest of the women and that Tea Cake 'pomped her up tun dat.'' (Hurston, 133). This demonstrates Janie's desire to be somewhat independent and doesn't want to rely on Tea Cake for their …show more content…

Janie is presented at the start of the novel as a weak and obedient woman who has been shaped by the standards of the patriarchal culture she lives in. She is pressured into two marriages, the first with Logan Killicks and the second with Jody Starks, that do not satisfy her aspirations or provide her the freedom to be herself. Janie's relationship with Tea Cake, however, changes her and enables her to recapture her identity. Tea Cake values Janie as an equal, respects her perspectives and beliefs, and supports her independence. Janie has the flexibility to experiment and develop herself in this relationship, which helps her personality and assertiveness grow. Janie grows stronger and more confident as a result of her relationship with Tea Cake because she begins to appreciate her own interests and aspirations. Hurston contradicts established gender roles through Janie's relationship with Tea Cake and emphasizes the value of a satisfying, equal partnership in the shaping of a woman's identity. Hurston addresses the challenges experienced by women in their search for independence and identity through Janie's adventures and the significance of separating oneself from a patriarchal culture. At the beginning of the book, Janie was a girl who was

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