What Are The Impacts Of Voice In Their Eyes Were Watching God

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The novel Their Eyes Were Watching God is not just the story of Janie Crawford, but an exploration into the deeply rooted impacts of voice. The novel explores the idea that a person’s voice can be a powerful tool for self-expression and empowerment, but it can also be suppressed by societal expectations and gender roles. Janie’s journey towards finding her voice and using it to assert her independence and identity is a testament to the importance of speech. The writing also reflects on Zara Neale Hurston’s own experience as a black woman in Jim Crow America. The use of an “unrefined” African American dialect throughout the novel’s narration celebrated the depth, intellectual complexity, and very existence of black culture, a theme revolutionary …show more content…

Originally a reclamation of her choice, or her freedom, Janie finds herself silenced by Jody, who overpowers her and forces her into a subservient role through his social ambitions, which originally attracted Janie to him. She reclaims her sexual freedom in the beginning of their relationship, however quickly becomes an object for Stark’s own pleasure, rather than an equal in a passionate union like she desires. However, after Jody’s death, Janie finally finds the strength to use her voice and express herself. She becomes a leader in the community and asserts her independence and identity through her words and actions. A key moment in her self-reclamation is her uncovering her hair again; Jody had forced her to cover her hair, which serves as a symbol of her sexual appeal and sexuality, thereby stripping her of her sexual power. The climax of Janie’s journey towards (re)finding her voice is when she returns to the new home she had made with Tea Cake, a lover of hers who she ran off with after Stark’s death, after Tea Cake Though Tea Cake’s presence also suppresses Janie’s voice, he is instrumental in teaching her her value, both sexually, and socially. In their relationship, Janie’s silence is for the first time empowering, a sacrifice that she willingly chose. When Tea Cake dies, she realizes that she is her own woman again. She has seen the horizon and what she has desired, and she Her return, alone and okay with that, represents a powerful assertion of her voice and her right to exist on her own terms. During her return she is described as having “her horizon like a great fish-net…” draped it over her shoulder. In the beginning of the novel, the horizon symbolized dreams, goals, and moments, but by the end, Janie has achieved the horizon. The horizon has gone from standing not for what she hopes for, but for what she has achieved, self-acceptance, fulfillment, and

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