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The Theme Of Love And Marriage In Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Throughout Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie’s mind is pulled in opposing directions by two conflicting forces regarding love and marriage. As a child, Janie is raised by Nanny, her grandmother, because her mother was raped as a young woman and left shortly after giving birth to Janie. Janie is taught at a young age by Nanny that marriage is about finding financial security and safety rather than finding true love. Nanny’s harsh and distant thoughts on marriage are a result of both her and her daughters rapes, both of which resulted in children that grew up in harsh economic conditions. Janie, on the other hand, believes that love is the most important aspect of marriage and that financial standing should not play a part in finding a husband.…show more content…
Janie’s definition of love and marriage come into being after she spends an afternoon under a pear tree. While under a pear tree, Janie observed as the pear tree “... connected itself with other vaguely felt matters that had struck her outside observation and buried themselves in her flesh. Now they emerged and quested about her consciousness” (Hurston 11). The pear tree is the physical manifestation of Janie’s love and the pear tree symbolism follows Janie throughout her marriages. The pear tree represents Janie’s idea of love as the pear tree is described as possessing “... leaf-buds to snowy virginity of bloom” (Hurston 10). The pear tree impresses its beauty and innocence upon Janie and becomes the symbol for her idea of love. Janie’s views on marriage and love are innocent and sweet and as based upon the pear tree. Janie’s views on love and marriage stand in stark contrast to those of Nanny. Nanny’s views are a result of her traumatic past and are primarily about material security. Janie’s own personal views and those of Nanny divide and pull apart Janie’s…show more content…
Nanny, Janie’s grandmother and caregiver, impressed her beliefs of marriage onto Janie at a young age. Nanny’s beliefs on marriage and love are a result of her past experiences with both rape and slavery. Nanny believes that financial security is the most important aspect of marriage rather than love. Janie, however, believes that marriage is about finding love rather than financial security. The conflicting beliefs within Janie are included within the novel in order to develop the meaning of the work. The meaning of the work is developed through Janie’s internal conflict with Nanny’s beliefs and her own personal beliefs on love and marriage. The conflict within Janie’s mind highlights the the conflicts within Janie’s three marriages. Initially Janie follows her grandmother 's advice and it leads to a loveless marriage. While thinking about her marriage to Logan Killicks, Janie thinks “finally out of Nanny’s talk and her own conjectures she made a sort of comfort for herself. Yes, she would love Logan after they were married” (Hurston 23). Janie allows her grandmother to place into a marriage with a man that she has to learn to love after the fact. The conflict within Janie’s mind forces Janie into marriages which are destructive but also give Janie the opportunity to learn from her mistakes. Janie learns and grows throughout her three
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