Their Eyes Were Watching God Literary Analysis

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Their Eyes were Watching God features Janie, the main character, narrating her life and her growth through the form of storytelling. The author masterfully crafts the piece so that Phoeby and the audience learn of Janie’s hardships and struggles and, as a result, the reader learns about the complications within the relationship between Janie and Joe that culminate into one single paragraph. In Their Eyes were Watching God, the author Zora Hurston uses a plethora of literary devices, including similes, metaphors, and personification, to help develop the main character Janie and on a larger, more universal scale, express the idea that male dominance over females is detrimental for women, as shown by the negative effects on Janie caused by Joe. First, Hurston uses personification to develop the main character Janie. When Hurston writes “The years took all the fight out of Janie’s face. For a while she …show more content…

The “fight” has been personified and given the task of leaving Janie’s face and soul. Obviously, the fight had not physically moved out of Janie’s body, but it represents the toll of the relationship on Janie’s body because, instead of the energetic, optimistic girl searching for love at the beginning of the story, Janie has transformed into an old, apathetic woman. Not only that, the use similes also helps to develop Janie. Hurston writes “But mostly she lived between her hat and her heels, with her emotional disturbances like shade patterns in the woods- come and gone with the sun” (Hurston 76) to show that Joe and Janie have a toxic relationship. For example, after Joe dies, Janie is extremely jubilant and feels free. She feels truly independent and unrestricted. As a contrast, when Janie is still in relationship with Joe, Hurston uses a simile to compare Janie’s

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