In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their eyes were watching God the main character Janie is on a quest for self-fulfillment. Of Janie’s three marriages, Logan and Joe provide her with a sense of security and status. However, only her union with Teacake flourishes into true love. Janie’s first marriage to Logan Killicks was an arranged marriage by her Grandmother Nanny. One day Nanny caught Janie kissing the neighborhood riff raff Johnny Taylor, and Nanny becomes convinced that Janie has entered her womanhood, and needs to marry.
At age eight, she announced that she wanted to be a poet; her mother was proud of her, but her father loathed her even more because of it. In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston shows Janie’s struggle for self-realization through love by all of Janie’s conquests. From her search of love from: the pear tree, Nanny, Logan, Jody, and Tea Cake, Janie finds herself. The symbol of the pear tree relates to Janie’s coming of age, and makes Janie want to find marriage and to see the world. Nanny was dissolving this image by making her marry Logan Killicks.
Throughout Janie’s journey she constantly struggles between freedom and control. Janie grows up well protected and controlled by Nanny, but the gate represents new beginnings. When Nanny sees “Janie letting Johnny Taylor kiss her over the gatepost,” she immediately forces Janie to marry Logan Killicks (Hurston 10). Janie fantasizes about love; she believes love will come with marriage, so she agrees to marry Logan Killicks. Once married, Janie’s journey takes off as she realizes that her “first dream was dead, so she became a woman” (Hurston 24).
She made friends with a teacher Miss Temple who helped her when Helen died. The owner left and Jane stayed on as a teacher once she had finished her school years. Then Miss Temple got married and left so Jane decided it was time to move on and she left for a governess position at Thornfield hall where she secretly fell in love with her employer Mr.Rochester. He misleads her by supposedly courting a beautiful woman and then proposes to her even though they are in different classes and she is amazed but accepts. On the day of their marriage it is discovered that Mr. Rochester already has a crazy wife, Bertha Mason locked upstairs, which explains some strange goings on at Thornfield.
The first ideas about love that Janie was exposed to was those of her grandmother, Nanny. Her grandmother saw that Janie was entering womanhood and she didn't want Janie to experience what her mother went through (getting pregnant without being married). So Nanny went out to marry her as soon as she can. When Janie asked about love, Nanny told her that marriage makes love and she will find love after she marries Logan which was the old man that has been interested in Janie for a long time. Nanny believed that love was second to security and stability.
Her first marriage leads her into her second marriage with Jody Starks; a man who seems to respect Janie at first but in reality does not. Her relationship with Jody is “mocked to death by time,” and leads her to her last relationship with Tea Cake Woods. By the end of the novel Janie has reached the line of equality with Tea Cake. Her relationships represent her journey to the horizon with the idea of love never... ... middle of paper ... ... relationships, although different from each other, were based on status and protection. Janie chose Jody to fill in the feelings that were unsatisfied by Logan.
She respectfully mourns the death of Jody, but after a period of time she finds herself wearing what she wants, and doing whatever she has ever wanted to do. She burns the hair rags she was forced to wear, and it gives her power to feel as if she can do anything she desires. Jody has left her the house, store, and his money. She starts living like she has always wanted to, and unexpectedly she meets someone who completely changes her mind about being alone. Vergible “Tea Cake” Woods is Janie’s true love.
Nanny set a goal for Janie’s life by saying, “Ah wanted you to look upon yo’ self. Ah don’t want yo’ feathers always crumpled by folks throwin’ up things in yo’ face.” ***SITE THIS? *** Janie’s grandmother pushed Janie into a marriage, which she considered a “safe” place for Janie. Though hesitant, Janie agreed to marry Logan Killicks. He was a farmer who married Janie shortly after she completed school.
However, what Joe sees in Janie is that she has class and he wants to make her one of his possessions. Janie's marriage to Joe looks ideal to many of the townspeople but on the inside she is very unhappy and still yearning to be loved. When Joe dies many years later Janie meets a younger man named Tea Cake. She leaves the small town to Eatonville with him and they are married. It is with Tea Cake that Janie is finally happy.
Towards the end of the book, Janie resents her grandmother for “living” her life for her and planning her future. To find out what will happen in a persons future, they need to live their life on their own an... ... middle of paper ... ... and scratching the dandruff from her scalp.” Tea Cake and Janie obviously shared a special love between them as their relationship grew. The things he did for her made her feel unbelievable. They did things she had never even thought of. Tea Cake took her places she had never been.