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Their Eyes Were Watching God Analysis

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For as much time as they spend with themselves, not many people feel they know their truest self. This can leave people searching for themselves, and not realize it is through that search that they will find who they really are. Life’s experiences and events, namely marriage and love, are important factors in guiding one along the quest for their truest self. This idea is exemplified through the life of Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God. Mainly, it is her relationships with her three husbands that lead her to her true self. Janie embodies the notion that love, or lack thereof, has a hand in shaping who a person is and will become. From a young age of 16, Janie did not have a huge say in her own love life. Nanny, Janie’s grandmother,…show more content…
Tea Cake showed Janie a side of man that she did not know existed. He appeared to value Janie as an equal; he included her in formerly male-exclusive activities- according to Jody- and did not belittle her opinions. At first, Janie was skeptical of Tea Cake because of past experiences, but she quickly realized that her relationship with him would be different: she genuinely loved Tea Cake. Again Janie was faced with the disapproval of the town folk, since Tea Cake was so much younger than her. She discussed the gossip with her friend Pheoby and decided the love she felt for Tea Cake was more important than their opinions. Almost without hesitation, Janie left Eatonville to marry Tea Cake. He introduced her to a different way of living, up to this point Janie had lived a life of leisure as far as finance goes. For a minute she fears Tea Cake may be after her money, though he reassures her that his only intent is to make her happy. Janie’s immense love for Tea Cake makes “her soul [crawl] out from its hiding place”(128), which brings her closer to her true self. After some time, Janie and Tea Cake move to the Everglades in order for Tea Cake to find more work. Janie flourished; here she was allowed to work in the fields and shoot a gun. These feats empowered Janie. There is no doubt that Tea Cake’s love and the opportunities he provided heavily impacted Janie’s quest for realizing her true self. Even after his illness caused him to attempt to murder Janie, she “thanked him wordlessly for giving her a chance for loving service.”
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