Their Eyes Were Watching God Janie Character Analysis

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Throughout Janie’s childhood, her grandmother taught her the proper attitudes and actions of an African American woman from a noble, loveless marriage to housewife duties shaping Janie into a refined and confined woman. Her grandmother attempts to instill certain morals and values of women that Janie feels are hindering her from living a life she wants. Her grandmother wants to impart wisdom and love to Janie and her future by making sure Janie is well taken care of when and after she dies. For example, Janie’s grandmother thinks getting married without love and taking care of the house is a perfectly fine and respectable life, but Janie feels ironically imprisoned and enslaved in the house and to the man her grandmother arranged her first …show more content…

Their friendship soon grows into Janie’s third and final marriage and they move to the Everglades putting distance and miles like an invisible wall in between them and the rules, expectations, obligations and ideas left behind in Eatonville. Tea Cake wanted Janie to leave town and travel around with him showing Tea Cake her willingness to give up everything for the sake of love and a future with him. Physically leaving the town also puts a barrier between the memories Janie has of Joe and the town and the ones she will make with Tea Cake. As Janie and Tea Cake settle in the everglades new roles and attitudes are formed for example by Janie wearing overalls and working in the field alongside her husband, Tea Cake, picking fruit and other foods. This conduct rebels against what Joe, Eatonville, and her grandmother would have thought a woman should and should not do. Although Janie worked in the store when she was married to Joe, she never worked side by side with him because he was the mayor and was always above her in some capacity. Janie’s grandmother would have expected Janie to never dress like a man or to work alongside them because of the practices and values she taught Janie as a young child. This final relationship with Tea Cake defies everything Janie was told and taught as a child. For example, this marriage was based on love all the way to Tea Cake’s death and this marriage also allowed a lot of freedom from gender roles and expectations for both Janie and Tea

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