Nanny : A Black Woman Essay

Nanny : A Black Woman Essay

Length: 1293 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


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...


... middle of paper ...


...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).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about The Black Body And The Media

- In body language was about the fascination with the black body and interpreting the black body 's dramatic role in America and the media. In the book the author was an emigrated from Ghana when she move to America she start to become aware of her blackness and how the word black describe everything about her in America but nothing in Ghana for example “ I emigrated with my family from Ghana to America. I don’t remember ever being aware of my blackness before them, I guess that was one of the privilege of living in a predominantly black country....   [tags: Black people, Race, African American]

Better Essays
1000 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

- The late first lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Hate and force cannot be in just a part of the world without having an effect on the rest of it." Mrs. Roosevelt means that although one person may feel alone through the hardships one faces, one has millions beside oneself who can relate to and understand what one may feel. Zora Neale Hurston shows that even though Janie's family and spouses continue to be abusive and harsh toward Janie, their hate and control left her stronger than before, preparing her for the next challenges thrown at her....   [tags: janie, nanny, deaths]

Better Essays
1198 words (3.4 pages)

The Black Woman's Burden in Three Novels: Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Toni Mo

- The Black Woman's Burden As humans living in an organized society, we are inevitably defined and viewed through the ideals created by that organizing entity. Each culture has its own view of masculinity and femininity that may vary from another culture's. The degree of difference may not be very large but it is these cultural differences that often create conflicts and struggles among certain groups of people. A quintessential example of such a struggle can be seen when observing black women in America....   [tags: American Literature]

Better Essays
1381 words (3.9 pages)

Ar'n't I a Woman by Deborah White Essay

- ... The Jezebel image was seen the way it was because it was assumed African woman were naturally promiscuous, and desired such connections. (White, 38) The idea that black woman were sensual comes from page 28 of Whites book where it explains when the first Englishmen went to Africa and were not used to the climate and mistook semi nudity for lewdness. This created the image that there was uncontrollable lust within the tribes and that African women wanted sex more than the men did. Because of that African Women had submitted to their masters sexually to escape harsher punishment while some, saw exploiting themselves as a way to lead a virtuous life, which never really went the way they wan...   [tags: female slaves in the South, story analysis]

Better Essays
929 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Black Women Of Middle Age

- “[Janie] was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from the root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was a marriage. She had been summoned to behold a revelation....   [tags: Sexual intercourse, Marriage, Love]

Better Essays
1319 words (3.8 pages)

The Diary Of A Black Woman Essay

- We live in a patriarchal society with existing inequalities amongst men and women. There has been improvement, but every day we strive to fight for more equality between the sexes, especially when it comes to voicing opinions. Women are often discouraged from outspoken, based on the old belief that women should be “seen, not heard”. This collection of poetry is dedicated to giving a voice to one of the most silenced demographics in America, black women. All of these poems are written by African American women throughout various stages of their life....   [tags: Black people, African American, Woman]

Better Essays
786 words (2.2 pages)

The Diary Of A Black Woman Essays

- The Diary of a Black Woman Introduction We live in a patriarchal society were inequalities amongst men and women are still very prevalent. We are improving, but every day we are striving to fight for more equality amongst the sexes, especially when it comes to voicing opinions. Women are often shunned from the thought of being outspoken, still based on the old beliefs that women should be “seen, not heard”. This collection of poetry is dedicated to giving a voice to one of the most silenced demographics in America, black women....   [tags: Black people, African American, Woman]

Better Essays
810 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Black Readers of Their Eyes Were Watching God

- The Enraged Black Readers of Their Eyes Were Watching God      Although Hurston's novel Their Eyes Were Watching God is a widely read novel today, that wasn't always the case. When her novel was first published, many black readers were enraged. It wasn't until the early seventies when Hurston's novel was rediscovered. What aspects of the novel enraged the readers so that it would be forgotten for more than thirty years.   One of the most important aspects of the novel that enraged the black readers was Hurston's portrayal of the white people....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Free Essays
1609 words (4.6 pages)

Contrasting "the Black Girl" and "the Ballad of Noriyama"

- Symbolism varies from culture to culture. The messages of different factors are interpreted differently. Also, there are varying strengths to symbols within a culture. While suicide is a bold statement in any culture, it is represented in a variety of ways with many meanings. For instance in the movie "The Ballad of Norayama" suicide is looked upon as a good thing in that the old woman was helping the rest of the village to thrive. In a movie like "The Black Girl," suicide is the only option that the girl had, and she kills herself to make a point to her former mistress....   [tags: Film]

Better Essays
689 words (2 pages)

Zora Neale Hurston - Celebrating the Culture of Black Americans Essay

- Zora Neale Hurston - Celebrating the Culture of Black Americans In her life and in her writings, Zora Neale Hurston, with the South and its traditions as her backdrop, celebrated the culture of black Americans, Negro love and pride with a feminine perspective that was uncommon and untapped in her time. While Hurston can be considered one of the greats of African-American literature, it’s only recently that interest in her has been revived after decades of neglect (Peacock 335). Sadly, Hurston’s life and Hurston’s writing didn’t receive notoriety until after her death in 1960....   [tags: Zora Neale Hurston]

Better Essays
2150 words (6.1 pages)