Theme Of Stereotypes In Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Stereotypes are never-ending cycles that have been instilled into the American society. Women are perceived to be weaker than men and also displayed as failures who are inept to gain confidence and courage. Marriage and the importance of having a male influence are prominent themes in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Women are traditionally stereotyped as objects, vessels of empty desire, and assets. Their standard domestic chores and occupational jobs make females seem less valuable. Men impose degrading standards on women by silencing their voices in society and mistreating their sexuality. The novel explores the journey of one woman and facing challenges such as gender prejudices and stereotypes. Through multiple…show more content…
According to Maria Racine, a literary critic, Janie and Tea Cake’s marriage “shows the inabilities of males to express themselves verbally” (Racine 1994). Throughout their marriage, Tea Cake is unable to express himself verbally so therefore he uses physical wrath to express his anger. When he slaps Janie, it represents his “inability to articulate” (Racine 1994). When Janie eventually develops her voice enough, she is able to find her personal serenity—free from men and abuse—and freedom. Although males are expected to be the dominant spouse setting a symbol of patriarchal power and control, “Tea Cake began to cry and Janie hovered him in her arms like a child. She sat on the side of the bed and sort of rocked him back to peace” (Hurston 180). Crying symbolizes letting go of the past just like Janie eventually kills Tea Cake and represents “a conscious act of self-defense and a matter of choosing life” (Racine 1994). Despite the fact that she suffers from verbal and physical abuse, Janie finally finds her confidence and recognizes the powerful voice that was once
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