God's Will Vs. Human Will in Their Eyes Were Watching God

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God's Will Vs. Human Will

The will of God and the will of humans are two themes in Zora Neale Hurston's amazing work of art, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Not only do both themes play an essential part in the tone of the novel, but they also play into every other major theme of the book. Among these themes are: self-discovery, love, independence, and nature's power in one's life. Both Janie's personal will, and the will of God in this story are used to show the strengths and weakness of Janie as well the rest of the characters. The will of God is seen frequently throughout the novel in order to test Janie and her will. God's will is also seen leading other major and minor characters in the book. The wills of both God and Janie are the guiding forces within the novel and conflict with each other throughout the story to create the backbone of this tale.

With Janie, there is an overwhelming conflict between her own will and the will of God. On one side of her reasoning, she feels the need to find and experience true love but on the other side, is God pulling the strings in her life. Janie's Nanny pushes her in the direction of marriage, even if there is no love between her and the man she marries. Janie desperately longs for love but is still unsure in her young womanhood if all it takes is a simple marriage to a man who will take care of her. This can be seen when Janie asks herself, "Did marriage end the cosmic loneliness of the unmated? Did marriage compel love like the sun the day?"(pg 21) Janie soon realizes that being taken care of is not the same as true love. Marriage is not what Janie wants. She wants love and her desire to get out of the marriage is clearly seen in all the references to animals. "She feels like a mule while she's with Logan. She knows she has the spirit of a stallion inside her but she is literally surrounded by a gate and can only stare towards her impossible dreams of love down the road" (pg 25-27). Logan puts a tremendous amount of un-needed stress on Janie with his demands as well as his verbal and physical abuse often seen through their marriage. Still in shock and confusion of the whole process, Janie gathers her courage and decides to run away with a man she barley knows, Joe Starks.

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