Zora Neale Hurston's Novel 'Their Eyes Were Watching God'

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The question of love is a complicated one. One that Janie thought she had the answer too. She thought the answer to her troubles of finding love was to just marry someone. She later found out that this wasn’t the case from her first two marriages. In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, “Their Eyes Were Watching God” a pivotal point in the novel is when Janie marries Tea Cake. This makes Janie learn that you should marry someone that you actually like to be with and that marriage doesn’t always mean love. Throughout the book Hurston uses many forms of figurative language and symbols to describe Janie’s feelings about love. One of these is “She was a rut in the road. Plenty of life beneath the surface but it was kept beaten down by the wheels.” (Hurston…show more content…
When Janie first met Tea Cake she immediately fell in love with him. He was as sweet as his name. Tea Cake would teach Janie whatever she wanted to know how to do or play. For example Janie had never played checkers before and she wanted to learn how to play. So when Tea Cake came their first “date” was playing checkers. Tea Cake didn’t stop there, he even taught Janie how to shoot a gun just so Janie could go hunting with him, and so they could spend more time together. We know Janie wants to go hunting with Tea Cake because she tells him “Dat would be fine, Tea Cake, exceptin’ you know Ah can’t shoot. But Ah’d love tuh go wid you.” (Hurston 130) This quote and part from the novel especially shows Janie’s feelings and emotions towards Tea Cake. This was a guy that she actually wanted to be with and spend time with. “While her first two husbands are domineering. Janie’s third husband is easy-going and reluctantly willing to accept Janie as an equal.”(Merriam Webster This helps prove that Janie didn’t love her first two husbands, thought they were too controlling, and that Tea Cake treated Janie as an equal.Tea Cake also appreciated Janie for who she is “Not only does he appreciate Janie’s beauty, intelligence, and independence, but he also shows her tenderness, trust and respect.” (Dilbeck 102). Tea Cake allowed Janie to speak freely and be herself around him. When Janie went to court after killing Tea Cake,…show more content…
Janie learned the hard way that you actually have to love someone for your marriage to go anywhere and last long. Her first run through was with Logan. Janie only married him because of her grandma and for “protection”. We know this because Nanny tells Janie “‘Tain’t Logan Killicks Ah wants you to have, baby, it’s protection.”(Hurston 15) That was her first mistake, she married someone she didn’t even love and look how long that marriage last. Her second marriage was a little bit better at first but she began to slowly realize that she didn’t love Joe either. Her marriage with Joe lasted a lot longer than her marriage with Logan but the feelings of love towards Joe were the same as they were with Logan. Through Logan and Joe, Janie learned the qualities that make a marriage a good one. These qualities were freedom of speech, as in being allowed to speak her mind freely without being scolded by her husband. Another good quality she learned to look for in a relationship is the ability to act like yourself around your partner. Both of these qualities Janie found in Tea Cake. Through trial and error and learning from her mistakes Janie finally figured out that just because you marry someone you doesn’t automatically mean you’ll fall in love with them. Janie took a while but eventually she found her true love in Tea Cake. Lastly Tea Cake left a lasting impression on Janie, he changed the way she viewed love
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