In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, the author, Zora Neale Hurston, attempts to bring into light problems caused by prejudice. However, as she tries to show examples of inequality through various character relationships, examples of equality are revealed through other relationships. Janie, the novel's main character, encounters both inequality and equality through the treatment she receives during her three marriages.
Janie's first marriage is to Logan Killicks. Logan enters the marriage with a large portion of land. However, Janie enters the marriage with practically nothing. This ends up becoming a relationship based on inequality because Logan starts to use his ownership of the land to control Janie. He tries to make her feel that she owes him for part of the land, which he is sharing with her. What begins as a relationship in which Logan struggles to make Janie happy, turns into a relationship in which Janie is expected to make Logan happy. She is often reprimanded for not doing enough work or for not working in certain areas such as the fields.
It is during that unhappy marriage that Janie meets Jody Stark, who comes along with dreams of power, wealth, and happiness. " De day you puts yo' hand in mine, Ah wouldn't let de sun go down on us single. Ah'm a man wid principles. You ain't never knowed what it was like to be treated lak a lady and Ah wants to be de one tuh show yuh." (Pg.28) Janie is promised that she will be treated quite well. So naturally, she leaves Logan and sets out for a new town with Jody. This relationship can be classified as equal in some aspects. However, for the most part, this too becomes a marriage based on inequali...
... middle of paper ...
...g which is totally hers. Either her husband already owns it or he earns it. In the marriage to Tea Cake, Janie plays an active role in acquiring the money they use. It belongs as much to her as it does to him.
Overall, these are the main forms of equality shared by Tea Cake and Janie. It is through these equalities, encouraged by Tea Cake, that they are enabled to live happy and fulfilling lives. Never once is Janie made to feel inadequate to Tea Cake, like she is to Logan and Joe. The happiness this has caused in their marriage is best summed up in a quote by Janie describing Tea Cake, " He kin take most any lil thing and make summertime out of it when times is dull. Then we lives offa dat happiness he made till some mo' happiness come along." (Pg.135)
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York: HarperPerennial, 1998.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Mary Helen Washington’s essay denies Hurston’s effort to create a liberated female character in Their Eyes Were Watching God. Washington believes that Janie is actually excluded “from power, particularly from the power of oral speech”. Janie plays a role of an object for men to look at and talk about. The consequence of this oppression is shown after Jody’s death, rather than declaring her freedom, Janie appreciates her own hair by looking at the mirror just like other men in the town.... [tags: Inequality, Women]
521 words (1.5 pages)
- Equality is meant for all humans at the moment of their birth as it is said that all are created equal by god. Yet, to this day not all are equal. The novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston explores negative aspects of humanity and the values, morals and ethics it promotes through thematic topics. The book uses the thematic topics of sexism, domestic relationships, racism, independence, ambition, and love to prove that equality must be earned and is not given due to the values, ethics and morals that society promotes.... [tags: Book Analysis, Psychoanalytic Theory]
3249 words (9.3 pages)
- Anthropology and Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and Jonah's Gourd Vine Zora Neale Hurston described the study of anthropology as a spy-glass, an illuminating lens (1). Anthropology is defined as the scientific study of the origin, the behavior, and the physical, social, and cultural development of humans (2). Through this study and with the aid of an essay defining human nature written by Cardinal Jean Daniello, we can take a closer look at the behavior of the characters in Hurston's novels Their Eyes Were Watching God and Jonah's Gourd Vine.... [tags: Hurston Eyes Watching God Gourd Vine Essays]
1911 words (5.5 pages)
- Male dominance is valued strongly and promoted by Hurston’s society which leads to inequality. This means that in order for Janie to gain equality in her relationship she must earn it. This is proven during a conversation between Janie and Logan when he asks her to help him with the farm work. Janie refuses to help him so Logan replies by saying: ‘You ain't got no particular place. It's wherever Ah need yuh. Git uh move on yuh, and dat quick.’ ‘Mah mamma didn't tell me Ah wuz born in no hurry.... [tags: story and character analysis]
542 words (1.5 pages)
- Explained Styles & Tones Of Their Eyes Were Watching God “Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.” (pg.1, par.1) and so begins the powerful story of Janie Crawford, along with the author’s menagerie of different styles and tones. These tones and styles set the stage for Zora Neale Hurston’s major themes, all of which were strongly introduced and defended throughout the novel. Hurston’s themes vary from sexism, to dialogue, and to religion; which during her time were extremely prudent issues to the U.S.... [tags: Explained Styles and Tones]
956 words (2.7 pages)
- Gender inequality has been a major issue for many centuries now. Societies insist in assigning males and females to different roles in life. The traditional stereotypes and norms for how a male and female should present themselves to the world have not changed much over time. But individuals are more than just their gender and should have the right to act and be treated the way they want. The novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston illustrates the discrimination against women and the issues that arise from a gender double standard society.... [tags: Gender, Woman, Gender role, Marriage]
2274 words (6.5 pages)
- In the beginning of the 20th century, it was a new era for everything, especially literature. Two new and unique literary movements began; Local Color and Naturalism. Local Color with its distinct character tone and Naturalism with its weak main character was knowingly cherished by readers. As a response to Darwinism and the inequality in America, Naturalism opened Americans’ eyes of the individual being defeated by society. Local Color freed the minds of the readers as well as the writers by putting the tone of the actual character, not everyone being sophisticated and educated.... [tags: essays research papers]
2091 words (6 pages)
- This paper examines the drastic differences in literary themes and styles of Richard Wright and Zora Neale Hurston, two African--American writers from the early 1900's. The portrayals of African-American women by each author are contrasted based on specific examples from their two most prominent novels, Native Son by Wright, and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Hurston. With the intent to explain this divergence, the autobiographies of both authors (Black Boy and Dust Tracks on a Road) are also analyzed.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
4138 words (11.8 pages)
- In Zora Hurston’s, Their Eyes Were Watching God Janie Crawford was an attractive, confident, middle-aged black woman. Janie defied gender stereotypes and realized others cruelty toward her throughout the novel. Behind her defiance was curiosity and confidence that drove her to experience the world and become conscious of her relation to it. Janie’s idealized definition of love stemmed from her experience under a pear tree, an experience that was highly romanticized and glamorized in her sixteen year old eyes.... [tags: Love, Marriage, Pear, Their Eyes Were Watching God]
1498 words (4.3 pages)
- Zora Neale Hurston’s tour de force novel Their Eyes Were Watching God is told through the voice of Janie Crawford. Janie yearns to experience true love, as well has have a sense of self worth. In her early years these two ideas are intermingled, one cannot simply exist without the other. As she ages and goes through the trials and tribulations of love, she comes to find that the two are not mutually exclusive. Janie speaks about her adolescent identity by saying “Dey all useter call me Alphabet ‘cause so many people had done named me different names” (Hurston 9), this goes to show that Janie did not have an identity growing up.... [tags: Marriage, Love, Their Eyes Were Watching God]
1166 words (3.3 pages)