He is the man with whom she has a wonderful, loving, happy marriage. Janie, through youth and lack of empowerment, is mislead to believe other people's definitions of love and marriage until she is strong enough to find a relationship on her own which satisfies her personal definitions of love and marriage. Nanny, Janie's grandmother, leads her to believe that love comes after marriage though love is secondary to the security marriage provides. Nanny feels marriage was simply for security and to start a family. 'Taint Logan Killicks Ah wants you to have baby, it's protection.';(pg.
That Logan goes to purchase another mule for Janie to use to plow the fields reminds the reader of Nanny's earlier comparison of the black woman to a mule. Janie is useful as a wife for Logan only because she helps to get work done, just as, in Nanny's eyes; Logan is useful for Janie because he provides a stable home. For Janie, life with Logan is stable but dull. Logan and Nanny's vision of black life dictates that they remain far from whites' eyes and subsist on what they produce. The author notes that, after a while, Janie "began to stand around the gate and expect things" (Hurston, 25).
In each marriage she learns precious lessons, has increasingly better relationships, and realizes how a person is to live his/her life. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie's marriages to Logan Killicks, Jody Starks, and Tea Cake are the most vital elements in her growth as a woman. Janie's marriage to Logan Killicks was the first stage in her growth as a woman. She hoped that her obligatory marriage with Logan would end her solitude and desire for love. Right from the beginning, the solitude in the marriage shows up when Janie sees that his house is a "lonesome place like a stump in the middle of the woods where nobody had ever been" (20).
When it comes to love Nanny believed that wealth and protection came before the actual meaning of love, the idea that a strong emotional bond exists between a man and a woman. As much as Nanny cared for Janie and what she stands for, she wanted Janie to marry a man who can give her a lifetime of luxury and protection. This idea only stands due to the fact that Nanny never had this in her life, being a slavery made her always fight for what she had and look out for her well-being as well as her children?s. Consequently Nanny grew to teaching the idea to Janie that marriage should be about power, wealth, and protection even if the emotional part of the relationship doesn?t exist. Janie marries Logan Killicks for she believes he offers protection, she then marries Jody Starks for she believes he brings vibrant wealth and power, but not so much do these two bring emotional bond Janie utterly desires and as a result Janie spends the rest of her life trying to experience the emotional side of love.
Janie has gone through a lot in her life time the fact that she is a product of white rape - causes her to be lighter-skinned than other black women. Because Janie is an “unusual” woman concerning her physical characteristics this is a major factor during her marriage to Joe Starks and interactions with Mrs. Turner. Joe (Jody) Starks is Janie's second husband. She meets one day while still married to Logan. Joe proposes to Janie several weeks later, she accepts and feels that she can finally get away from Logan and start a new life.
Mrs. Mooney is a controllable mother, however; she did find a wonderful man to marry Polly. Because of Mrs. Mooney’s experience with her own relationship, her intention was to marry her daughter to a better man that can protect her daughter. Overall, Mrs. Mooney’s intention was to marry Polly to an ideal man when she builds the Boarding House because of her own experience. Mother knows what is best.
No matter what the cause for her inner conflict, Janie struggles to find fulfilment and has many identity issues. However through her journey, she finds clarity about who she is as a woman, person, and what she wants in life. Growing up, young Janie struggled with her own identity and a clear understanding of what love was. There is no way Janie could know who she was if she did not know where she came from. At the beginning of the second chapter Janie said “Ah ain’t never seen mah papa…mah mama neither,” (21) as we find out later on in the book, Janie’s father is a white man who raped her poor mother leaving her to live with her grandmother, Nanny.
She learns from Tea Cake true love and how it feels to be that way. Upon his death Janie realizes and says this, “Love is lak de sea. It’s uh movin’ thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore” (152). Janie knows that she won’t ever find a love like her’s and Tea Cakes, so she feels alive and now she has all these lessons about life in her lap from her three husbands. Janie Crawford marries three men that seem to be very much alike; however, their motivations for their actions are different.
The book, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is about Janie Crawford and her quest for self-independence and real love. She finds herself in three marriages, one she escapes from, and the other two end tragically. And throughout her journey, she learns a lot about love, and herself. Janie’s three marriages were all different, each one brought her in for a different reason, and each one had something different to teach her, she was forced into marrying Logan Killicks and hated it. So, she left him for Joe Starks who promised to treat her the way a lady should be treated, but he also made her the way he thought a lady should be.
She was the type of mother who did not necessarily care and love her children, but she knew she had to because they were hers. The narrator explains, “She is such a good mother. She adores her children” (151). The little boy and his sisters knew better and they knew that what other people were saying was not true. The narrator continues to tell the reader about the family’s lifestyle.