Their Eyes Were Watching God Individualism

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Toni Morrison’s A Mercy portrays a young slave, Florens, struggles with her past as well as her life as a slave. Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God shows a woman, Janie, who struggles through various relationships in her life, but in the end, they help her find her freedom and individualism. Both stories have different story lines, but upon a closer look, it is easy to see that Florens and Janie have common factors in their lives; which includes, both characters are isolated by others, both characters want to love someone, both character’s guardians make decisions for them that they do not understand which causes conflict, and finally, both characters commit difficult actions which ends up changing their lives. Other characters…show more content…
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie merely wants to love someone, but that choice is ripped out of her hands when Nanny makes her marry someone she does not love. This marriage as well as another one does not work out because she never learns to love them. Finally, she meets Tea Cake, and falls madly in love with him even though he is a lot younger than she is. He is someone that she can truly love while still being able to be herself. They go through their struggles as well and sadly, he dies by the end of the novel. Janie still appreciates the love that she had with Tea Cake though. Although finding someone to love is a struggle for Janie, she is still able to love someone as well as enrich herself at the same time. In A Mercy, Florens wants affection in her life because being a slave has never really allotted her the privilege. This affection comes to Florens by the blacksmith who is a free black man. He does not see her as an equal which becomes obvious when he calls her a slave and says, “You are nothing but wilderness, No constraint. No mind” (166). He is explaining that Florens allows her savagery control her mind and heart. Florens does not understand this though because she is still young and naïve. The blacksmith makes her leave, so Florens loses the only affection she has ever had in her life. She becomes stronger though because she moves on from her past. Both characters find love as well as lose…show more content…
In A Mercy, Florens’s mother abandons her and gives her away to a slave master. Florens does not understand her mother’s decision and holds a grudge against her throughout the whole novel. This is the reason why Florens has such deeply embedded abandonment issues throughout the novel. Her mother made the decision because it was a necessary one. She explains that if Florens had stayed with her then her life as a slave would have been worse. Florens’s mother gives Florens a chance at having a good life as a slave. She made her life as a slave the best that she could in the situation. The mother explains that the new master’s decision was mercy, “I said you. Take you, my daughter. Because I saw the tall man see you as a human child, not pieces of eight. I knelt before him. Hoping for a miracle. He said yes. It was not a miracle. Bestowed by God. It was a mercy. Offered by a human” (195). In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie’s grandmother Nanny makes Janie marry someone she does not love. Janie does not want to marry Logan, but she concedes to her grandmother’s demands. The grandmother merely wants Janie’s life to be secure and safe; the grandma did not want Janie to turn out like Janie’s mother. Janie holds anger for her grandma because of the grandmother’s decision, but eventually, after she matures, Janie realizes that Nanny was merely doing it
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