Have you ever been in a past relationship and started a new one only to realize you have been comparing the two? You may realize that you desire the past spark that the present does not have. In Zora Neale Hurston's novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, she utilizes juxtaposition to discreetly invite the audience to compare two scenes; whether it be Janie’s reactions to events, Janie’s outlook on a goal or fantasy versus someone else's, or how Janie is treated by her spouse.
Growing up Janie had a pear tree in her yard and the tree grows to have significant meaning for her as she began to consider herself a sexual being. Janie’s infatuation with the pear tree and the bee symbolized her desire for real love. The blossoms on the pear tree resembled Janie’s budding sexuality as a woman, as the bees resembled the men needed to keep her sexuality in bloom. Each of Janie’s three marriages served as a development stage in her quest to find a man that she loves. Janie is unexcited with Logan, and mistreated by Joe Stark. Both men represented the oppression that women faced in American society. When Janie meets Tea Cake Woods, she is finally liberated and has fulfilled her quest for true love. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie represents the ideal “negro women,” a woman who does not let the abuse that she faces at the hand of her first two husbands discourage her from finding love on her own
“Hurston became the most successful and most significant black woman writer of the first half of the 20th century. Over a career that spanned more than 30 years, she published four novels, two books of folklore, an autobiography, numerous short stories, and several essays, articles and plays” ("Zora Neale Hurston." The Official Website of Zora Neale Hurston). One of the most famous and a accomplishment was a novel that she had written called, Their Eyes Were Watching God, which received great praise. “In Their Eyes Were Watching God, the novel is a brilliant study of black folk and their language, their stories, and their mannerisms. All of this works symbolically as a measure of the characters ' integrity and freedom, which in turn demonstrates a contrast to the image of the carefree, ‘happy darky’ that prevailed in the fiction of many American novelists” ("Zora Neale Hurston." Notable Black American Women). In the novel, Hurston explores the gender roles of African American women during this time period. It follow the story of a young lady named Janie, who was struggling to fit in the world. She a very beautiful lady who had gone through three marriages by the time she reached the age of fifty. With this novel, Hurston got people talking about the
Zora Neal Hurston, first published “Sweat”, in 1926. The story is about a hard-working woman who is the sole provider for her household and she is subjected to physical, mental, and verbal abuse by her husband who is unemployed and insecure. During these times, women were looked at as submissive and obedient. Women were abused and worked through their blood, sweat, and tears. Black women were hired by white men/women to take care of their children and be the homemaker of their home and had to maintain the upkeep of their homes, children, and husbands. Zora Neal Hurston was 1 of many authors who left an impact on society. As Delia worked hard to Take care of her home, her husband as unemployed which made him insecure. Delia was also trapped
As Janie is laying down at sixteen years old beneath a pear tree in the spring, it becomes a symbol to her of the optimal relationship. Janie marries to Logan Killicks to please her Nanny before she dies. As Janie cries to her Nanny she says to her "Ah wants things sweet wid mah marriage, lak when you sit under a pear tree and think." (p 24) she admits to not being happy with a relationship she is in with Logan. As the Pear Tree continues to grow, so does Janie’s understanding of her optimal relationship. Janie begins to grow tired of Logan and leaves him for Jody because she wants the idea of her optimal relationship. She grew tired of living up to her nanny's views and did what made her contended
The story Marigolds, by Eugenia Collier, shows the harsh reality of becoming an adult in the poverty stricken times of the 1930’s. The story follows a girl, Lizabeth, as she makes the tough transition from a innocent child to an adult. As Lizabeth grows into an adult she experiences new emotions such as empathy and compassion, but in order to do so she loses her childish wonder and innocence. The story touches on themes of compassion, love, and hope associated with adulthood, but also the pain and defeat that comes with it. It shows the innocence and wonder of being a child, but also the fierce and intense emotions of adolescent. These immense differences between youth and adulthood helps to contribute to the the main theme of this story:
Lead author of the Harlem Renaissance and first African-American anthropologist studying his own culture, Zora Neale Hurston is, in many ways, an exceptional writer. Indeed, unlike others such as Robert Wright or Alain Locke, Hurston does not deny the cultural legacy that represents the black folklore, folklore that will influence both the form and substance of his art. As a trained anthropologist, Hurston has been able to capture the American black culture and use it through vernacular oral transcriptions. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, we will analyze the mobilization of language that Hurston uses in order to create a pictorial world. Firstly, we will explore the use of vernacular language. Then we will show the importance of rhetorical figure of speech used by the author. We
In Zora Neale Hurston’s famous novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, main character Janie Crawford struggles through many of life’s trials, including poverty, discrimination, and three consecutive marriages that each come with their own challenges for Janie. While many tribulations of the era are discussed during the novel, the featured conflict revolves around Janie, and what it means for her and her dreams of being independent to be alive during a time when she is discriminated against for both her race and gender. Hurston’s novel explores how deeply generations of oppression and poverty can affect a person, and how Janie slowly but surely overcomes the obstacles of ignorance and prejudice barring her
During the movement, Hurston was able to impact countless amount of people with her writings. In the Harlem Renaissance, she was acknowledged for her amazing intelligence, wittiness, and her magnificent writing style and how this unique author desired to fight for the rights of African Americans. During her lifetime she experienced grand success and was very well known, but, however, she also experienced disgrace and was slowly forgotten by the public. She was not well credited for all of her accomplishments, but now she is recognized as one of the best African American writers during the Harlem Renaissance. During her final decade, Hurston had difficulties getting work published. She experiences strong and adverse reactions for her criticism
Janie’s succeeding sense of desire arises when Nanny catches her kissing a local boy. Nanny perceives that Janie is growing into an adult and wants her to quickly settle down into a secure place before Nanny passes away. Janie’s new desire is to stay in adolescence. She feels strongly against Nanny’s plans of marrying a man who can provide for her and to keep her from harm, because she feels that she is still a child herself and immediately regrets kissing Johnny Taylor, the local boy. In this particular scene, desire is portrayed as a nonnegotiable aspect for Janie. She wants to please her grandmother, but does not want to perform the obligations asked of her, but to satisfy Nanny, she goes through with the marriage. As a nonnegotiable situation, Janie could feel obliged to please her grandmother, making the source of the desire’s origin her grandmother rather than Janie
All people grow and develop at different rates, with factors such as heredity and environment strongly influencing one's development. The age-old debate of nature-vs-nurture is at the forefront, as always. The people one meets, and the experiences one goes through play vital roles in forming that person. In the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie Crawford grows as a woman with the men she was married to. Through the tides of life and relationships she realizes how a person is truly supposed to live their life. Janie's three marriages play crucial roles as elements in her development as a person and as a woman. Countless allusions and symbols crafted by Zora Neale Hurston flow fluidly throughout the novel and allow for the reader to understand Janie Crawford’s journey and extensive development. These recurrent patterns serve to better illustrate abstract concepts in the novel. Hurston's powerful use of symbols and allusions work to describe Janie’s relationships along with clarifying and intensifying the telling of Janie's story and growth.
The pear tree that Janie discovers in chapter one symbolizes her perfect relationship. She compared the bees collecting nectar to a marriage. ”She saw the dust-bearing bee sink into the love embrace and the every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was a marriage!” (Hurston ,11). The bees and the tree blossoms had a relationship where they were equally needed and one didn’t “own” the other. “Ah wants things sweet wid mah marriage, lak when you sit under a pear tree and think,” (Hurston, 24). When Jamie marries Logan, she becomes very disappointed when she doesn’t acquire the love for him that she thought she would. She dreamed of having this deep intimate love and once she married Logan that dream died. “The vision of Logan Killicks
In 1920s Harlem, swing music reigned, great works of art and literature were being created every day, African American creative expression was at its height - The Harlem Renaissance was alive. Zora Neale Hurston, author of Their Eyes Were Watching God, was one such black expressionist at this time. Several characters in her celebrated novel demonstrate the ideas of the Harlem renaissance, but most notable of these characters is Janie, the strong, Black woman that the novel is based around. The novel tells the story of Janie’s journey for love, and the heartbreak and misfortune that she encounters along the way to the “horizon”. Zora Neale Hurston’s writing is both a reflection and a departure from the ideas of the Harlem Renaissance
The pursuit of dreams has played a big role in self-fulfillment and internal development and in many ways, an individual 's reactions to the perceived and real obstacles blocking the path to a dream define the very character of that person. This theme is evident in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, which is about the search for identity. A woman of a mixed ethnicity resides in several communities, each playing an important role and serve as crucial influences on her life. During the story, she endures two failed relationships and one good relationship, dealing with disappointment, death, the wrath of nature and life’s unpredictability.