The Growth of Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God

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The Growth of Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God

Human beings love inertia. It is human nature to fear the unknown and to desire stability in life. This need for stability leads to the concept of possessing things, because possession is a measurable and definite idea that all society has agreed upon. Of course, when people begin to rely on what they know to be true, they stop moving forward and simply stand still. Zora Neal Hurston addresses these general human problems in her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Hurston, however, does not present the reader with the nihilistic hopelessness of Fitzgerald or Hemingway, but rather offers an understanding of the basic human aspect that causes us to fear emptiness. Janie, the main character in the novel, understands this emptiness and is dissatisfied with it. In an attempt to solve the problem, Janie sets out on a quest to make sense of her inner void. Although she is beset on all sides by tragedy, Janie does not become discouraged - quite the opposite actually. She uses her tragedy as emotional fuel to keep her moving toward her destiny. Although Janie is alone at the end of the novel, she realizes that she is no longer filled with nothingness. Her destination became herself. Hurston's novel was ...

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.... A Postmodern Reader. New York: SUNY, 1993.

Interpretations: Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987.

Kubitschek, Missy Dehn. " 'Tuh de Horizon and Back': The Female Quest in Their Eyes Were Watching God." Modern Critical

Lyotard, Jean-Francois. "Excerpts from The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge." Hutcheon and Natoli 71-90.

Pondrom, Cyrena N. "The Role of Myth in Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God." American Literature 58.2 (May 1986): 181-202.

Wright, Richard. "Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)." Appiah and Gates 16.
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