Themes In Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Zora Neale Hurston presents unique relationships and themes in her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, which assist in the transformation of the main character, Janie, from a naïve adolescent girl into a strong and independent woman. Janie yearned for her freedom and voice, thus she had to adapt and fight to reach that position. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston presents a transformation with the main character Janie through her three marriages to Logan, Joe, and Tea Cake. Janie desired an equal and loving marriage, neither of which she obtained with her first marriage. Janie was forced into marriage by Nanny, as Nanny thought this would protect Janie after she had been caught kissing Johnny Taylor (The Concept of Love and Marriage…show more content…
Joe quickly spoke up before Jane could speak by saying, “Thank yuh fuh yo’ compliments, but mah wife don’t know nothin’ ‘bout no speech-makin’. Ah never married her for nothin’ lak dat. She’s uh woman and her place is in de home” (Hurston 43). Janie’s transformation was interrupted with being married to Joe, as she lost the voice that she had gained at the end of her marriage to Logan (Neale Hurston 's Their Eyes Were Watching God: Janie Crawford Character Analysis). While Janie still has her will power inside, Joe continued to manipulate Janie (Neale Hurston 's Their Eyes Were Watching God: Janie Crawford Character Analysis). Janie knew that Joe’s stifling of her continued to diminish her freedom and self-identity (Neale Hurston 's Their Eyes Were Watching God: Janie Crawford Character Analysis). Joe wanted her to be in the background of things and to be his trophy wife (The Concept of Love and Marriage in Zora Neale Hurston 's Their Eyes Were Watching God). Joe’s domineering nature continued when he saw other men paying particularly close attention to Janie’s hair, so he instructed Janie to cover her hair (The Concept of Love and Marriage in Zora Neale Hurston 's Their Eyes Were Watching God). Joe considered Janie to be a possession of his and only he was allowed to view her in that way.…show more content…
Joe isolated Janie from the community, and never gave her an opinion on the matter (The Concept of Love and Marriage in Zora Neale Hurston 's Their Eyes Were Watching God). Joe abused Janie physically throughout their marriage, but also verbally abused her as time went on (The Concept of Love and Marriage in Zora Neale Hurston 's Their Eyes Were Watching God). When Janie spoke out against Joe, it would be the biggest first step in Janie’s journey to equality, voice, and freedom (Roberts and Kendall). Janie speaks out against Joe in the store after being ridiculed for her looks (The Concept of Love and Marriage in Zora Neale Hurston 's Their Eyes Were Watching God). When Janie does fight back against Joe finally using her voice, she destroys his self-image and power (Analysis of Major Characters). Joe abuses Janie for this vocal outburst in front of community members
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