Their Eyes Were Watching God Theme Essay

722 Words3 Pages
“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…show more content…
Another example is seen in chapter 6,”But you ain’t goin’ off in all dat mess uh commonness”(Hurston,60) This quote shows that Jody is not allowing Janie to go to a communal event, which is the funeral of the mule, because he doesn’t want her to be in all of the commonness. This is hindering Janie’s independence because she is not making choices for herself, and she doesn’t do anything even though she wants to go. Being in the relationship with Jody constricts her freedom, which proves Hurston's theme. Thus, Zora Neale Hurston uses community as a motif to help prove her theme, using specific details such as Janie’s disallowance to go to the funeral and the community scorning her. In conclusion, the novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God” presents the theme of love and that being in a relationship hinders independence but in an unique way. Hurston uses symbolism like Janie’s head rag which stifled her independence and when burned, made her feel free. She also uses the motif of communities, which are ever present throughout the book, using specific examples such as when Janie isn't allowed to go to the funeral, which hinders her independence because she isn't making choices for herself and isn't doing
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