Were Watching God Characteristics

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Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Hurston introduces readers to the life of Janie Crawford living in rural Florida during the early twentieth century. During this time, women, specifically black women, were considered to be property of men in the south. Legally, women had no voice. Janie Crawford, as well as many others find themselves in a society expecting more out of life than what the time period has to offer. Through love affairs, catastrophes and death, Hurston shows readers how a small voice can make a difference. Janie Crawford fights to live the life she imagines for herself. Being lively but voiceless, she holds the trigger to her own destiny. Janie’s main characteristics are her willingness to act upon her inner instincts and…show more content…
In the novel, instead of being urged to fend for herself and brace her own independence, Janie is encouraged by her Grandmother to seek a man that will provide not only for her basic necessities, but also her protection. Her grandmother doesn't believe that Janie has the potential of fending for herself, and without a good husband, she will suffer. She says to Janie: “So de white man throw down de load and tell de nigger man tuh pick it up. He pick it up because he have to, but he don’t tote it. He hand it to his womenfolks. De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see" (Hurston 14). When it comes to women in the novel, they're expected to follow the stereotypical customs and traditions of nurturing their families and maintaining a prominent role in the house by cleaning and cooking. Women are seen as very weak and fragile. In Janie’s second marriage, she experiences gender role confinement. While Janie believes that marrying Joe will help her to manifest her dreams, she later realizes that Joe views her as his property and expects her to the play the role of mayor’s wife, rather than encouraging her to pursue her own passions. As the employee of her husband’s store, Janie lives her life in Joe's shadow to the point that he doesn't think it proper for her to converse with local Eatonville residents or participate in any of their storytelling and card games. This is portrayed when the narrator states: “Janie loved the conversation and sometimes she thought up good stories on the mule, but Joe had forbidden her to indulge. He didn't want her talking after such trashy people” (Hurston 53-54). Joe's unrealistic expectations of Janie seem to discount the fact that she is just as much human as she is woman. Along side the
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