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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Janie has many encounters with men where she felt love but she couldn’t maintain them. Her first husband held no love but rather only respect for Janie. The first husband was a gateway to her second lover, Jody. Jody loved Janie and she to him but as time progressed his ambitions destroyed what they had previously cherished.
The novel 's plot is driven by Janie 's series of relationships with different men: a kiss with Johnny Taylor, followed by marriages with Logan Killicks, Jody Starks and finally, Tea Cake. Logan Killicks and Jody Starks see Janie as defined by her relationship with them, and expect her to be obedient, silent and proper. Jody sees her as a kind of ornament that bolsters his social standing and that helps to justify his efforts to assert control over everyone, men and women alike. Tea Cake, in contrast, defines himself not by political power but rather by his physical strength and ability to have fun. Even while Tea Cake treats Janie as an equal, there still exists a certain power struggle in Janie 's relationship with him, as her increasing ability to recognize her needs as an individual throughout the novel emerges in response to Tea Cake 's treatment of her.
Marriage is usually perceived as a momentous event that finally unites man and wife as equals. However, in Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie, the protagonist, faces the contrary. Although her second husband, Jody, treated her as an equal during the beginning of their relationship, she eventually is treated as a lesser part of their union as he asserts his dominance over her. After the death of Jody, Janie eventually found Tea Cake, who treated her fairly throughout their relationship, as shown through his natural willingness and patience to teach her how to play checkers. With their relationship, Janie experienced a marriage where she had the right to make her own decisions and express herself.
She questions why Janie would marry a dark man like Tea Cake. Mrs. Turner falsely assumes, like the rest of the people form the town, that Janie only married Tea Cake for his money because she could not possibly love him. Janie informs Mrs. Turner that her assumption is incorrect because Tea Cake was not wealthy when they met, and he is the only person that has made her truly
Janie realizes what she deserves in a marriage and runs off with Starks to live a happy life with him. Things do not go as planned for Janie as she starts to realize how manipulative Joe Starks is of her. Starks has full control over Janie with his tyrannical behavior and takes things even further when he establishes complete dominance over Janie. Janie soon realizes that Starks has taken advantage of her “It was her image of Jody tumbled down and shattered. But looking at it she saw that it never was the flesh and blood figure of her dreams.
In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, we follow our protagonist, Janie, through a journey of self-discovery. We watch Janie from when she was a child to her adulthood, slowly watching her ideals change while other dreams of hers unfortunately die. This is shown when Jane first formulates her idea of love, marriage, and intimacy by comparing it to a pear tree; erotic, beautiful, and full of life. After Janie gets married to her first spouse, Logan Killicks, she doesn’t see her love fantasy happening, but she waits because her Nanny tells her that love comes after marriage. Janie, thinking that Nanny is wise beyond her years, decides to wait.
In the beginning Janie feels as if Tea Cake’s age would effect their relationship. She has strong feelings for him, but on the other hand people are saying he will run off with her money. Janie proves them wrong and runs off and gets married to Tea Cake. He makes Janie feel wanted, she feels like she could be herself. Janie states, "We been tuhgether round two years.
She meets Tea Cake, falls in love, and later marries him. This marriage is by far the most special and unique marriage Janie has had. Her relationship with Tea Cake is her first true love; which consists of affection, happiness, understanding and everything else that follows. This marriage makes Janie feel like she has a second chance in life to relive her youth. Janie has lots of fun and is truly blessed and happy with Tea Cake.
“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 Imagine one Janie Crawford, back in Eatonville, once again under the watchful eye of the jealous townspeople, scrutinized and harshly judged. Janie has been in this situation before, a long time ago, but what is different this time? The difference, among many others, is that Janie has taken a look at her core values, her goals, and her aspirations, and changed her outlook on life.
In the book, “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, Janie had many relationships with men. And just like all of her other male companions, Tea Cake played second fiddle to the main character of Janie. In “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, Janie had many different love interest which included the likes of Logan Killicks, Jody Starks, and eventually Tea Cake. Before meeting Tea Cake, Janie was just stringing along in two different marriages that just were not in Janie’s favor in terms of her happiness. Janie’s first two husbands ended up basically being duds when it comes to pleasing and treating Jane properly.
Despite having drastically different personalities, each of her three Marriages ended in failure or tragedy due to the pride of the three men. Hurston’s characterization of Janie’s three husbands represents three different types of men: Logan- The work-horse, and Teacake - The Free spirit and Joe. Joe Starks is clearly the most ambitious of these three men.
During Janie's first marriage, she outwardly conforms to the societal view of marriage, and the domestic wife, while inwardly questioning if she can learn to disregard her true
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”
Janie shows determination as she persists and struggles to define love on her own terms through her marriages. First, her determination shows when Janie runs away with Jody. She becomes aware that her marriage with Logan does not satisfy her goals and dreams for love, so she takes a chance and marries Jody. Hurston states, “Janie hurried out of the front gate and turned south.
Women are confined to single roles and are expected to be submissive and respectful. When Joe married Janie, he forced her into a role of subservience. Hurston indicates that Joe attempted to mold Janie into what white women do on a daily basis which is to “sit on their high stools on the porches of their house and relax.” Doing this, Joe believes he is granting his wife all the wishes she ever wanted while neglecting the fact that Janie takes pleasure in the simple things in life like chatting, laughing, fishing and dancing. “Janie [especially] loved the conversation[s]” that took place on the porch and sometimes “she thought up good stories on the mule, but Joe had forbidden her to indulge” because he didn’t want her to talk after those “trashy people” (Page 104).