Themes In Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

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As once stated by Italio Calvino, “You take delight not in a city's seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours.” By what they behold, every city offers answers. However, that does not mean these answers are always accurate. Residing in South Florida, Eatonville and the Everglades contrast each other not only by the visual contents, but also the answers given to the self-actualizing questions of the protagonist, Janie Crawford. These answers, defining what the towns represent, utterly differ. Though commonly overlooked, these cities essentially contribute to Janie’s discovering of herself. The two focal settings in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Eatonville and the Glades, eagerly display…show more content…
Joe Starks helped Janie realize her desire and need to relinquish herself from the dominance of others. Furthermore, Tea Cake Woods granted her the freedom to do so. The two opposing cities revealed to her how her life would be, if she remained in them, ultimately showing her the best of both worlds, which essentially contributed to her leading to decide who she truly is. Eatonville answered that she should allow for others to control her and that she should accept unhappiness. However, the Everglades replied that her life should not be decided for her, and that she deserves love. As stated by Janie, “love is lak de sea. It’s uh movin’ thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore” (Hurston 191). This proves that with every setting and husband, life and love is different. Conclusively, this proves that the two primary settings in Their Eyes Were Watching God contribute immensely to the novel, by presenting Janie with two choices of lifestyle, allowing for her to select, herself, and helping her find her true identity, along the
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