16) This thought by Jane opened a lot of others throughout the novel, but it also lead Jane to the conclusion that as long as she remained in this position of poverty she will always be treated this way. During Jane’s childhood she often rebelled due to the horrible treatment she got due to her status as an orphan. Jane viewed herself as essentially useless due to her lack of money and status. Due to this thought Jane was turned to the ideology of how people of her status had no one to truly turn to or benefit but God himself. This stance is something Jane turned away from because she often question the role of God throughout her readings due to no proof she found
East of Eden: An Interpretation I. Cathy Ames - Cathy's main motivation was her desperate and incessant need for money. This held true throughout most of the book; it was only at the very end of her life that she realized that she had been missing something her entire life. This is the reason she left everything that she had amassed to her youngest son, Aron. This act may have been a desperate attempt at making up for the love she was never privileged enough to have. Cathy viewed herself as someone who could outwit most anyone she met -- especially men.
Woman who did not marry could really only look forward to living with her relatives as a dependent so that marriage is pretty much the only way of ever getting out from under the parental control. “Women married because they had a lack of options; they were not formerly educated, and were only instructed in domestic duties. They needed someone to support them, and were encouraged to marry and have children” (Ziegenfuss). If a woman were to remain single she would be contempt and pitied by the community she lives in. The rules for women were so strict it’s like she had to be a slave to her husband.
Eva wanted him to die with whatever dignity he had left. Hannah did not share the same view as her mother. She thought that her mother had no love in her. She once asks Eva if she ever loved her and Eva tells her, “What you talkin’ ‘bout did I love you girl I stayed alive for you can’t you get that through your thick head” (69). Hannah saw that Eva did not see an importance in motherhood and she took similar values.
She had bonny children, yet she felt they had been thrust upon her, and she could not love them” (Lawrence 1). The story continues to tell us of Hester, who is unable to love her children and is obsessed with money. “Only she herself knew that at the center of her heart was a hard little place that could not feel love, no, not for anybody.”(Lawrence 1) There were many problems in the household, one of which was a lack of love from the mother. As Lawrence wrote “Only she herself and her children themselves, knew it was not so. They read it in each other’s eyes” (Lawrence 1).
All of her husbands had control over her because she allowed herself to appear weak and vulnerable. Janie did not know any better. Nanny had kept Janie sheltered, and Janie had to learn about life on her own. At the end of the story, this happens, and Janie does seem to become a stronger person. But Janie never quite gets a grip on life because she is not a strong person to begin with.
People’s opinions about the house made them stay away and there was also the inner detachment of Sethe from herself. The theme that Toni Morrison had in mind when the book was written was isolation. One of the main characters suffered most from this theme of isolation indefinitely. Poor Sethe. Through her life she was forced to make many indelicate decisions which could have cost her, her life, but comparatively the only life that was lost was here daughters.
Jody abused Janie both emotionally and physically, and belittled her to nothing more than a trophy wife. But Janie never left him. This time Janie stayed in the abusive marriage until he died, because Janie did not then know how to the tools capable of making her a sovereign person. She once again chose caution over nature, because caution was the safest option. And overtime she became less and less Janie, and less and less of her sovereign self, and eventually, “the years took all the fight out of Janie’s face.
Her parents had passed away long before this time, leaving the Reed’s to be her only family to abide with. Mrs. Reed was cruel and resented Jane because she claimed her late husband, whom Jane dearly missed, had always loved Jane more than his own children. Jane’s three young cousins living at Gateshead were spoiled and obnoxious figures that had just as much antipathy as Mrs. Reed did towards her. She feared her cousin John especially, for he was quite verbally and physically abusive towards Jane’s frail character. This image of family Jane received from the Reed family at Gateshead was not a positive one in any sense.
Never did she show love towards her children, “When her children were present, she felt the center of her heart go hard” (Lawrence 18). The family was not necessarily all that poor; it was just how the mother perceived the situation. She was a very materialistic woman and therefore felt the need to spend whatever money she got on all the chicest, most expensive items. Just because she did not have any money, did not mean that she couldn’t lead others to believe she did. Or so she thought.