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Essay On Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

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From a young age, many people are told that they have free will to do what they want and that their actions are what define them as a person; however, what people are told isn’t always the complete truth. In the realms of reality, individuals are always influenced by the people they spend the most time around to such an extent that it can change who they are as a person. Zora Neale Hurston 's novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, epitomizes such truth through the development of Janie, a women who grows from not knowing her own race or what love even means to someone that has gained and lost countless relationships with people. Initially, she marries a wealthy man named Logan Killicks for financial security, but then runs away with a man named…show more content…
Joe mediates this by trying gain more authority over what Janie does. Specifically Joe forces Janie to wear a head-rag, “[t]his business of the head-rag irked her endlessly. But [Joe] was set on it. Her hair was NOT going to show in the store. It didn’t seem sensible at all.” (Hurston 55). By using phrases such as “set on it” and capitalizing words such as “not,” Hurston emphasizes the fact that Joe was not going to change his decision or let Janie violate it under any circumstances. Not only does Janie not have the courage to speak up about her discomfort with the head rag, but Joe never gives her the chance to do so either. It is paramount to note that Joe is the person of power in the relationship between himself and Janie because of his role as mayor of the town and his assertion of this role throughout their relationship. Though this shouldn’t matter in terms of their relationship, Joe continually characterizes Janie as being “the mayor’s wife,” giving Janie no opportunity to express the way she feels, in private or public. Later in the novel, Joe is diagnosed with a failure in his…show more content…
Though Janie faces loss multiple times through the deaths of these people that she loves dearly, she gains qualities in herself which she can use later in her life. In her first relationship with Joe, Janie is continually oppressed in terms of when she’s allowed to speak and how she controls her own appearance but this oppression only works to shape her personality into one that can speak back and be more assertive in front of anyone. By having to be in a situation where she has to choose whether to shoot Tea Cake, she becomes more resilient and proactive. Only through the loss of youthfulness and two loved ones is Janie able to truly discover who she, conveying Hurston’s larger message that self-discovery is fueled through loss and
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