With Janie being a child, she is somewhat helpless to defend herself ... ... middle of paper ... ...of love the reader sees from Tea Cake is his rescuing Janie from the dog attack. This unravels the mystery, revealing that Tea Cake does really love Janie; he is her pear blossom on her pear tree. Hurston successfully uses speech and silence to create a fascinating story about a young woman who grows up to find her individuality and in the end, her pear blossom. Logan, Joe, and Tea Cake all play an integral part in Janie becoming the strong, independent woman she is, ultimately allowing her to break the chain of abuse suffered by her mother and grandmother. Silence is the barrier in Janie’s life that she endures; through the suffering, Janie emerges to honor the struggles in her life, transformed into a woman who is beautiful, mature, and strong.
A pear tree awakens Janie’s self-fulfillment, sexual awakening, symbolizes her emerging womanhood, and gives her knowledge on love. Janie’s sexual awakening begins under a pear tree when she is sixteen years old in her grandmother’s back yard. Carla Kaplan describes Janie’s self-fulfillment as, “Nonetheless, Hurston's description of Janie's "revelation" is one of the sexiest passages in American literature: But Janie's chances of fulfillment seem very attenuated” (Kaplan 115). Hurston shows Janie’s sexual awakening with the use of bees, “She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was a marriage!” (11).
While Janie’s emotional strength varies throughout the novel, her voice is always there. Her voice is proven from the beginning when she argued about housework with her first husband, Logan, and it became even more evident in her relationship with her next husband, Joe. She did not speak to Joe often because he did not mean much to her and she did not waste her energy on always arguing with him. But when she found a subject on which she wanted to speak her mind, she always did. Many seem to think that Janie found her voice towards the end of the novel because that is when she spoke most often.
Thereafter, Nanny arranged for Janie to marry Logan Killicks. She felt that getting married to him will protect Janie from the burdens of being a black woman. Janie did nothing but obey. Hurston wrote, "The vision of Logan Killicks was desecrating the pear tree, but Janie didn't know how to tell Nanny that. She merely hunched over and pouted at the floor" (Hurston 13).
Even though it takes her the entire novel to realize her sexual awakening from the blossoming pear tree to experience unadulterated love, she does so as the sun falls and rises past the years of her maturing life. The novel starts out with Janie at the ripe age of sixteen realizing her sexual peak. "She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her." (Hurston: 11). Nanny realizes that Janie has become ready for marriage, after settling for a kiss from a tall and lean, yet poor boy by the name of Johnny Taylor.
In Zora Hurston’s, Their Eyes Were Watching God Janie Crawford was an attractive, confident, middle-aged black woman. Janie defied gender stereotypes and realized others cruelty toward her throughout the novel. Behind her defiance was curiosity and confidence that drove her to experience the world and become conscious of her relation to it. Janie’s idealized definition of love stemmed from her experience under a pear tree, an experience that was highly romanticized and glamorized in her sixteen year old eyes. Janie’s ability to free herself from the confining, understood, stereotypical roles enforced upon her allowed her to not only find true love but define true love as well.
Janie’s romantic and idealistic view of love, seen in her reaction to the pear tree, partially explains why her earlier relationships are not successful. It is not until later in her life, when she slowly opens up to her relationship with Tea Cake on a more mature level, that Janie sees what love really is. Janie resists Tea Cake at first, remembering her early pear tree encounters, and her early sexual awakening. She becomes infatuated with Tea
Janie experiences awakening to love in her grandmother’s backyard while staring at a blooming pear tree. “Oh to be a pear treeany tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the beginning of the world! She was sixteen. She had glossy leaves and bursting buds and she wanted to struggle with life but it seemed to elude her.
Hurston’s Their Eyes were Watching God follows a black woman trying to find true love while hindered by a variety of factors: nature, class differences and men, who oppress her the most. In fact, the main character, Janie, had two husbands which mistreated her. As an exception, Tea Cake, her third husband, helps Janie to accomplish inner peace and allows her to flourish into her own character. However, Janie would not have found Tea Cake had she not realized her life’s intent under her Grandmother’s pear tree and chased that dream. It is when Janie realizes her dream under the pear tree where Hurston establishes that self-revelation is reached only by chasing dreams.
In addition to being wise, Janie is a courageous woman who never fears regardless of the situation. Janie displays her first act of courage by telling her husband, “ah’m just as stiff as you is stout. If you can stand to chop and tote wood Ah reckon you can ... ... middle of paper ... ... her first orgasm and she thinks she might have found her true love. She fears for a while that it would end up like her other relationships: “If only Tea Cake would make her certain!” (Hurston 108). She finally accepts the love when, “After a long time of passive happiness, she got up and opened the window and let Tea Cake mount to the sky on a wind.