Self-discovery is essential to a prosperous life. In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie, the main character, discovers who she is through her relationships. Janie learns from each of her experiences, but the most significant are her husbands: Logan, Jody, and Tea Cake. Each of these people attempt to control her thoughts and actions, but Janie rebels against them. Janie stands up for what she believes in, and through these confrontations, she better understands herself. Janie reacts in different ways to people in her life trying to control her, and this can be seen with Grannie, Jody, and Tea Cake.
Janie’s grandmother, Nanny, forces Janie to marry a man she is not in love with out of convenience. Nanny does not want Janie to suffer the necessities of life, but Janie cares little about materials and seeks love. Nanny’s ideology haunts Janie for much of her life, influencing decisions she takes later in marriage. Huston says, “The memory of Nanny was still powerful and strong,” which shows how Janie conforms to the ideology her grandmother instilled in her. And although Janie conforms, she continues to question inwardly about love. Nanny did not believe in love, so Janie had little guidance in how one can find love. Janie does not realize until the end, that one must “go there tuh know there”(192).
The “Rock Pile” by James Baldwin and “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston are two stories that examined black male resistance to emasculation. The men in these stories lived in patriarchal societies, and they reaped the benefits of a structure that favored men. In both of these stories, the male characters are dominant figures in their households, and when they felt like their manhood was being attacked, they retaliate viciously.
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie suffers from hardship in two relationships before she can find her true love. Janie explains to her best friend, Pheoby, how she searches for love. Therefore Pheoby wants to hear the true story, rather than listening to the porch sitters. Throughout the book Janie experiences different types of love with three different men; Logan Killicks, Joe Starks, and Vergible "Tea Cake" Woods.
“The writers, I do believe, who get the best and most lasting response from readers are the writers who offer a happy ending through moral development. By a happy ending, I do not mean mere fortunate events: a marriage, or a last-minute rescue from death; but some kind of spiritual reassessment or moral reconciliation, even with the self, even at death.” – Fay Weldon
In Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston Janie is held back from growing to her full potential. Janie is married three times and in each marriage there is one item that restrains her. In her marriage with Joe she was forced to wear a head rag to cover her hair because it is so long and beautiful.
Unlike Janie’s previous husbands, Tea Cake treats Janie with compassion and respect. In addition, he loves Janie for her personality instead of her looks and her role as a woman (housewife).
Being mature is usually correlated with older age, but that’s not necessarily correct. Everyone has been told to “grow up” at some point, have been expected to be sophisticated no matter their age. Maturity does not depend on age because parents raise children in varying ways and have experienced unique learning opportunities, and strive for incomparable goals in life
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.
9. If you could offer Janie advice at this point, what would it be? Explain your rationale.
“Their Eyes Were Watching God” is a novel written by Zora Neale Hurston. The novel portrays Janie, a middle aged black woman who tells her friend Pheoby Watson what has happened to her husband Tea Cake and her adventure. The resulting telling of her story portrays most of the novel. Throughout the novel, Zora Neale Hurston presents the theme of love, or being in a relationship versus freedom and independence, that being in a relationship may hinder one’s freedom and independence. Janie loves to be outgoing and to be able to do what she wants, but throughout the book the relationships that she is in with Logan,Jody and Tea Cake, does not allow her to do that. Neale Hurston further supports this theme with symbolism, like Janie's hair rag that held up her
The black culture is very diverse in different parts of the world-even in different parts of the state. Janie as moved throughout Florida to places such as West Florida, Eatonville, and the Everglades. Residing in these different places helps develop and define the character of Janie. Throughout Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie experiences many variations of black culture that helps build her character as she travels through Florida.
Zora Neale Hurston, an author during the Harlem Renaissance, wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God, an amazing novel written about the losses and loves of a lady named Janie Crawford. The author describes the way Janie found out who she really was and what love was throughout her three marriages. Janie’s first two marriages were unfulfilling and not healthy for herself. Janie realized what true love was when she met Tea Cake.
In Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston develops a contrast between the male and female genders of the time period of the story, and the male and female gender of today. Hurston wrote this novel in or about a time when women were considered simple-minded , women were disempowered by the empowered man in the relationship, and women can only gain power through marriage.