Nature themes resound throughout Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Seraph on the Suwanee. Perhaps two of the most notable instances where the lush Florida scenery augments the novels’ plot lines are the “tree scenes”, in which Janie kisses Johnny Taylor beneath the pear tree in Their Eyes Were Watching God (p. 10-12) and Arvey loses her virginity to Jim beneath the mulberry tree in Seraph on the Suwanee (p. 37 & pp. 50-53).
Close readings of the two passages reveal sexually charged language. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, the pear tree’s “barren brown stems” and the “snowy virginity of bloom” are referenced, possibly emphasizing Janie’s naiveté in her dealings with love and passion (she sees no harm in the kiss, while her grandmother views it as an omen of Janie’s soon-to-be-lost innocence) and Janie’s own inability to have children, regardless of any sexual awakening she may experience. The scene is also rife with mentions of the pollinating bees, a symbol of fertility. Jani...
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- Tree Imagery in Hurston’s Novels, Their Eyes Were Watching God and Seraph on the Suwanee Hurston uses the fruit tree as an important image in both of the texts: the blossoming pear tree for Janie and the budding mulberry tree for Arvay. Each holds a unique meaning for its counterpart. In looking at Janie’s interaction with her tree, I chose to focus on the passage on page 11, beginning with “She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree…”. For Arvay, I chose the passage on page 37, beginning with “They entered the place under the tree…”.... [tags: Their Eyes Watching God Seraph Suwanee]
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- The Significance of The Blue Dress in Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Seraph on the Suwanee Their Eyes Were Watching God: Janie (talking to Phoebe about Tea Cake): “He done taught me de maiden language all over. Wait till you see de new blue satin Tea Cake done picked out for me tuh stand up wid him in. High heel slippers, necklace, earrings, everything he wants tuh see me in. Some of dese mornin’s and it won’t be long, you gointuh wake up callin’ me and Ah’ll be gone.” (pp. 109-10) Seraph on the Suwanee: “Over her mother’s outraged protests, Arvay put on the blue mull dress the next day.... [tags: Their Eyes Watching God Seraph Suwanee]
1078 words (3.1 pages)
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