Their Eyes Were Watching God Literary Analysis

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Their Eyes Were Watching God, a novel written by Zora Neale, expresses a black womens growth towards independence. Janie Crawford, the protagonist, is in quest of her ideal love but is surrounded by powerful men who take advantage of her youth and beauty. Janie’s first husbands keep her dependent but Tea Cake, through true love, exposes her to independence she seeks and later learns to embrace. Logan and Joe treat Janie as if she is unequal to them and nothing more than an object to be used and observed, therefore secluding her from the independence she deserves. Janie’s first marriage, arranged at the prime of her youth by her nanny, was a forced relationship with a man Janie took no liking too. Logan Killicks is an aged man with a cold soul filled with derogatory notions towards women. When he says "You ain’t got no particular place. It’s wherever Ah need yuh. Git uh move on yuh, and dat quick." He is asserting his authority towards Janie. Logan is making her feel like she is inferior compared to him and men in general. He establishes the notion of being boss which causes Janie to constantly second guess herself. This troubled marriage results in Janie running away where she is presented by a luxurious lifestyle by a financially stable man named Jody Starks. Janie is charmed by Jody’s good looks and ambition to succeed, but when she perceives that Joe is only keeping her around to generate jealousy from other men in Eatonville, she becomes detached from the relationship.
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