Eyes Were Watching God

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Their Eyes Were Watching God provides an enlightening look at the journey of a "complete, complex, undiminished human being", Janie Crawford. Her story, based on self-exploration, self-empowerment, and self-liberation, details her loss and attainment of her innocence and freedom as she constantly learns and grows from her experiences with gender issues, racism, and life. The story centers around an important theme; that personal discoveries and life experiences help a person find themselves. Nanny was determined that Janie would break the cycle of oppression of black women, who were "mules for the world". (Both of Janie's first two husbands owned mules and the way they treated their mules paralleled to the way they treated Janie. Logan Killicks worked his mule demandingly and Joe Starks bought Matt Bonner's mule and put it out to pasture as a status symbol.) After joyfully discovering an archetype for sensuality, love, and marriage under a pear tree at sixteen, Janie quickly comes to understand the reality of marriage in her first two marriages. Both Logan Killicks and Joe Starks attempt to coerce her into submission by treating her like a possession (Killicks worked her like a mule and Starks used her like a medal around his neck). Also Janie learned that passion and love are tied to violence, as Killicks threaten to kill her and Starks beat her to assert his dominance. She continually struggled to keep her inner self-intact and strong in spite ...

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