Nanny : A Black Woman Essay

Nanny : A Black Woman Essay

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Nanny is Janie’s grandmother who took care of her since her mother abandoned her as a baby. Nanny uses her power as an authority over Janie to make her marry Logan Killicks. Logan Killicks is Janie’s first husband and he is a man she does not want to marry. But Nanny forces her and tells Janie that a marriage for a black woman is about being stable (money and land) and marriage is not about falling in love. She says that love will come later in the marriage and so Janie listens and does as she is told. Instead Logan uses his power (him having money and land) over Janie by telling her she should be working in the field but she is too spoiled. Although he says this he still forces her to do labor around the house when he leaves to buy a new mule. Now for Janie’s second husband, Joe Starks, he uses his power to make Janie obey him. One night Joe had a town gathering for a new light pole being placed and gave a speech. The townspeople wanted to hear from Janie but immediately Joe says, “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.” (Translated as “Thank you for your compliments, but my wife dont know nothing about no speech-making. I never married her for nothing like that. She is a woman and her place is in the home”). This is when Janie had the realization about power and gender roles. She never knew that Joe saw her as merely a housewife but yet she kept quiet and allowed him that power. Joe eventually dies and Janie is relieved but she can not show that emotion. It was not seen as “right” to be happy or wear bright colors after your husband passes away. If she had done so then her society would have dis...

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...rkforce, advertisements, and games. Movies delineate men as being effective and ladies as frail. This all ties into Zora Neale Hurston 's novel and how men and ladies were pushed off due to their sex. This is the reason why Zora sets up her female characters as being frail and feeble and men as predominant and influential. Zora Neale Hurston uses the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God to show how women were seen throughout history and how men were so controlling. However she uses Janie as a women who went through the same struggle of being overpowered and following these stereotypes to overcome them as well. Janie represents hope that women do not have to be classified as a weak, sensitive, powerless, or emotional lady. That woman can have power and do as much as a man can. “Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman” (qtd. in Their Eyes Were Watching God).

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