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Love in Their Eyes Were Watching God


        Love plays a very important role in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes

were watching God.  Janie spent her days looking for love.  She thought of

love just as she thought of the elements of springtime:  Sunny days, bright

skies, a bee pollinating pear tree blossoms.  She searched far and wide for

this kind of perfect love.


        Logan Killicks couldn't give this kind of love to Janie.  He may

not have loved her at all.  To him, Janie was just another working set of

hands.  He treated her almost like another man.  He was inconsiderate of

her feelings, her hopes, her aspirations.  He probably didn't know the

color of her eyes.  Janie was worked hard by Logan.  He made her do all

sorts of things that only men should have to have done.  He was even going

to make her plow the fields-a job that requires a considerable amount of

strength:  strength that Janie didn't have.  Janie complained that nothing

beautiful was ever said.  She had no love with Logan Killicks.  That is why

she left him for a man that showed much potential to give the kind of love

she was looking for.


        The whistling man that Janie ran away with was Jody Starks.  With

Jody, Janie thought that she would forever have "flower dust and springtime

sprinkled over everything."  She thought she'd have "a bee for her bloom."

She didn't exactly find this in Jody though.  In him she definitely found

change and chance, but still not the love she was looking for.  What Jody

had for Janie was more of a lust than a love.  He was very protective of

her and didn't want anyone else to see in her what he saw.  He gave Janie

many things including lots of money, but he couldn't give her love.  The

little love that was there eventually died.  So did Jody.


        Finally, Janie met up with Tea Cake.  The moved together to the

Muck in the Florida Everglades and lived in Tea Cake's Shanty.  They spent

each new day together.  They laughed together, fished and hunted together,

talked together, and spent time with friends together.  These were all

things that were missing from her previous relationships.  They had made

her to be somebody that she wasn't.  Tea Cake let her be herself.  He loved

her just the way she was.  He encouraged her to be what she wanted to be,

to follow her dreams, her thoughts, her aspirations.  Janie had finally

found her bee.  Tea Cake was the perfect bee for her bloom.  She loved him

with all of her heart.  They had the kind of everlasting love that she had

longed for all her life.


        Tea Cake one day rescued Janie from a mad dog, but was bitten in

his heroic effort.  For a few months there was no effect, but when the

rabies hit him, it was unbearable.  It eventually got so incredibly bad

that Tea Cake tried to kill Janie.  His did this not out of hate for her

but because of the mad dog within him.  The was no way out for her.  She

desperately wished for things to be the way they used to be, but those

wishes were not answered.  She eventually shot and killed Tea Cake.  Janie

was tried for murder, but was emancipated because everyone knew that what

she did was an act of love.  She simply didn't want him to suffer any more.


        Janie searched for the special love that she saw between the bee

and the bloom for a long time.  She finally found it in Tea Cake, but had

to kill him. Killing him was probably the biggest act of love made in her

whole life.




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