Their Eyes Were Watching God Symbolism Essay

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Most teenagers struggle with finding themselves. Sometimes, this struggle continues for their entire life. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston emphasizes that life-long battle. She shows her readers that everyone toils with finding themselves and that loving someone won’t always help them find their identity. She uses many symbols to help describe this struggle. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, the horizon is used to symbolize Janie’s future and to show Janie’s struggle to find herself. Hurston also uses the pear tree to symbolize Janie’s youth and her want for love. The pear tree is one of the first symbols that is present in the novel. Hurston uses the pear tree to symbolize Janie’s youth and her want for love. On page 11 of Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston writes, “Oh to be a pear tree—any tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the beginning of the world! She was sixteen. She had glossy leaves and bursting buds and she wanted to struggle with life but it seemed to elude her.” This quote represents how Janie sees herself; she sees herself as a young tree in bloom. From this, it can be assumed that the tree shows Janie’s youth. It can be inferred that the pear tree also symbolizes Janie’s want for love because of how she compares herself to it. Later on in the novel, Janie realizes that she can’t have her youth if she wants a future with Joe. “Janie pulled back a long time because he did not represent sun-up and pollen and blooming trees, but he spoke for far horizon” (Hurston 29) Here, the horizon symbolizes Janie’s future and the pear tree represents her youth.…show more content…
Many symbols are used throughout the book to represent this struggle. Two of the main symbols Hurston uses are the horizon and the pear tree to help symbolize Janie’s future and Janie’s youth. These symbols are also used to represent Janie’s life and her want for
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