Theme Of Love In Their Eyes Were Watching God 'And The Scarlet Letter'

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Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, while seemingly dissimilar, both share similar motifs centered around love. Both novels discuss the varied and nuanced effects of love on the human experience. Through their depictions of love and those in love, Their Eyes Were Watching God and The Scarlet Letter show that the immersive and self-sacrificing nature of love can cause it to serve as both a source of suffering and a source of happiness at the same time.
Both novels discuss love in the traditional role of healing and renewal. In The Scarlet Letter, the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale anguished for months in guilt over his perceived sins, only to exclaim “do I feel joy again?” once he “[flings]
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Both authors exaggerate the powers of love to represent how those in love feel like their world changes fundamentally from this experience. This belief in a love that can fundamentally change both one’s life and the world shows how all-consuming love can be, blinding one from actual reality and immersing one in a happier version of reality. From Janie’s opening up to Dimmesdale and Prynne’s newfound joy, both novels show how the human tendency to fully commit oneself to a romantic relationship can cause one to ignore one’s personal sufferings enough for them to seemingly disappear. Humans naturally crave affection through connections with others, and so the mind rewards these connections. In both The Scarlet Letter and Their Eyes Were Watching God, the characters’ reactions to experiencing love show how love, by virtue of its immersive nature, can serve as an alleviation of suffering.
Both The Scarlet Letter and Their Eyes Were Watching God acknowledge the complexity of love, showing it not only to serve as a source of happiness but as a source of suffering as well. From early on in Janie’s life in Their Eyes Were Watching God, Neale Hurston

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