Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

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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.

Nanny chooses Logan Killicks for her granddaughter simply because he has sixty acres of land on the main road. Nanny believes that this would provide Janie with the added security needed to be a black woman during the time in which the novel is set.

Three months into the marriage, Janie realizes that she still does not feel any love for Logan, so she decides to give Nanny a visit. When Janie addresses her concerns to her grandmother, Nanny immediately dismisses them and tells Janie that her mind will change as time passes, and to think about Logan’s sixty acres of land. Janie is unsatisfied with this justification, and goes back home still with doubts about whether or not marriage will “end the cosmic loneliness of the unmarried”.

A year into the marriage Janie decides that she is no longer happy in her marriage, she measures these months on terms of the seasons: “So Janie waited a bloom time, and a green time, and orange time . Janie is a sensual woman who grew up in nature and learned about sex and love from sitting underneath a pear tree and watching the bees spread pollen. Land is not enough to satisfy her desires and make her happy in her marriage.

The last straw for Janie is when Logan stops spe...

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...e’s hair, which was very important to her.

The difference between Logan and Teacake is simply that she did not love him and his property made no difference. Janie was very in tune with nature and nature was what educated her regarding intimacy, if you look back Teacake won Janie over by utilizing his surrounding i.e. fishing, lemons for lemonade, and that is how he was able to appeal to her. Throughout the novel, Janie searches for her “bee for her blossom” and becomes convince that Teacake is that bee.

On Janie’s quest for self-fulfillment, she realizes that she must live for hers to find the love that she needs and wants. Security and status do not equal love these unnatural things caused her marriage to Logan and Joe to be unsuccessful. When Janie meets, Teacake it is his natural aura that complements Janie because the novel shows us that nature is her identity.
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