In this specific case, one could say that Joe Stark’s personality is a result from Douglass’s slaveholder’s treatment against African Americans slaves. Stark’s understanding of society is a reflection of past events with slaves and their masters. The unbalance of power in society during slave years depicts Starks necessity for power. Starks’s personality makes him only comfortable when he has power over everyone else. We see this as soon as Starks arrives at Eatonville when he asks for the mayor and they tell him that they don’t have one. He says “Ain’t got no mayor!, Who tells y’all what to do?”(35). Starks’s understanding of the world is as simple as someone should always be in power, and the people should always do what the someone in power demands, and as long as Starks is alive, that someone should be him.
Stark’s belief of superiority and the slaveholders’ abuse of power are similar to a dictatorship. Dictatorship, defined by the Merriam- Webster dictionary is “Rule by a dictator: ...
... middle of paper ...
...her to look pretty and be there, but he does not care about her opinion or desires. Janie is a symbol of a trophy wife (Prof. Haynes class). One who just stands there and serves as a meaningless superficial character who improves Stark’s status.
In conclusion, “The Eyes Were Watching God” and the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself” are two excellent ways of depicting how the terrible treatment of slaves impacted the way people thought in the post slavery era. Hurston’s ability to make the reader feel like he/she is involved plays a vital role in understanding how the ongoing history affected Starks’s personality. Douglass’s slaveholders’ similarities with Joe Starks’s characteristics are numerous compared to the few differences mentioned. They both abuse power and mistreat others, but they do it for different reasons.
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