Their Eyes Were Watching God Marriage

1299 Words6 Pages
Marriage is often much more complex than what people envision, as many factors play roles in ensuring it will last. In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston portrays the story of a young African-American girl named Janie whose Grandma marries her off to Logan Killicks, a man she does not love. Yearning for real love, Janie runs away and marries a promising rich man named Joe Starks, only to discover that there is once again a lack of affection. After enduring almost twenty years of a hollow relationship, Janie’s second husband passes away, and by chance she meets the love of her life; a young man known as Tea Cake. However, this happiness is short-lived as she is ridiculed for being with a younger man, whom not too…show more content…
When Janie first complains of her marriage to Logan, Nanny says, “Heah you got uh prop tuh lean on all yo’ bawn days, and big protection, and everybody got tuh tip dey hat tuh you and call you Mis’ Killics,” (23). Nanny tries to convince Janie that she should be satisfied with her status of having been able to marry a respectful man. However, Janie feels that love is necessary for her marriage, and that she will be extremely unhappy if she cannot love. For Janie, the status does not matter for any relationship; rich or poor, as it is pointless without love for one another. Her firm determination to find love leads her to marry Joe, who claims he will never make her work or suffer hardship. Shortly after Joe becomes the mayor, Janie thinks to herself, “The wife of the mayor was not just another woman as she supposed. She slept with authority,”(46). Janie expresses how uneasy she feels about being the mayor’s wife, as the position she is in causes the townspeople to keep their distance from her. The fact that the townspeople are jealous of Janie also creates tension between them despite the fact that she wishes to make friends. Already on shaky terms with the townspeople, Janie feels even less love than before as Joe’s obsession with his work draws him away from her. Twenty years of marriage with Joe is nothing to Janie, as after only two years with Tea Cake she says to him, “We been tuhgether round two years. If you kin see de light at daybreak, you don’t keer if you die at dusk.”(159). Janie’s loving comparison of Tea Cake to the light at daybreak shows her appreciation for him, and that it does not matter that they are not rich. Her confident embrace of death also demonstrates to the reader that she has finally achieved her dream of true love. Now that she has lived a fulfilling life, she does not mind if they die together, so long as Tea Cake still
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