Their Eyes Were Watching God

1563 Words7 Pages
How Men Changed Janie For The Better

In Zora Neale Hurston’s, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie Crawford, the heroine of the novel is the first Black female character in African American fiction to embark on a journey of self discovery and achieve independence and self understanding (Novels For Students 303). She enters several marriages with many thoughts but of them all, she has universal expectations for each, those expectations are that she will be treated with the utmost respect and if it isn’t present at the beginning, "love will come" no matter what. Though she has three of her serious relationships, Janie does not ever have desires met, even with the one she loved most, Tea Cake. Janie spends much of her life in search of her happiness to find in the end that, she must first make herself happy before she can take enjoyment from others. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie Crawford goes through life as a young and spoiled child to a woman of deep endearment over the course of three marriages and relationships. She experiences three men whom are all flawed yet each gives Janie an important aspect of character. She takes from each man a sense of herself; from Logan Killicks, self-worth, from Joe Starks, self-respect, and from Tea Cake, her final husband, love and soulfulness.

In her first relationship, with a farm man named Logan Killicks, Janie, though shortly pampered, feels unloved and unrecognized as a woman as Killicks attempts to make Janie work the land and fields with him. Her marriage to Killicks was an arranged one by Janie’s grandmother, who felt Janie needed to be “married off” as soon as possible to a good man. Her grandmother wants security for her. Janie wants happiness and by trusting her grandmother, more or less, she takes Killicks hand in marriage. Killicks expectancies from Janie were assistance on his farm as well as tending to the many other things he felt were women’s chores. His love was shown through that and so, in essence, for Janie to comply with Killicks ideals was the only way she could demonstrate her love and compassion. Both were set quite deep in their ways prior to their first encounter. Both were very used to getting what they wanted and neither was in their marriage, with Janie having the worse end of the stick.
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