Often in stories of self-realization and self-love, there is an incident that is often overlooked. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, such is the case. While many people tend to believe that Janie’s relationship with Teacake was the central time when she realized who she was, Her marriage with Joe Starks is often ignored in the big picture. Janie realized what she didn’t want and not to settle and that helped her accept Teacake later on in the book. Jody’s ideals did not mesh with a Janie and caused a lot of conflict. Throughout their twenty-year marriage, three events symbolized the rift between Jody and Janie; The first was his refusing to allow Janie to speak at the towns opening ceremony, Janie’s public response to Jody’s ridicule of her, and Jody’s rejection of Janie while on his deathbed.
After Janie’s complete failure of marriage with Logan Killicks, She was looking for what was missing with their relationship. When Joe came down the road, She saw things being significantly different than what she had with Killicks. Jody stood for things she found fascinating. “…He spoke for far horizon. He spoke for change and chance.” (29). And although Jody did not represent the Pear tree which symbolized Janie’s ideal complementary man, He was more than what Killicks offered.
Unfortunately, Jody was in a lot of ways worse than Killicks was after they were married. There was an overriding theme of Janie’s silence while she was with Joe. Perhaps the biggest example and a preview of things to come was when Jody finished all of the town improvements and as a show of gratitude, the townspeople held an opening ceremony for the new Mr. And Mrs. Mayor Starks. During the ceremony, Janie was asked to say a few words and offer some encouragement from the crowd. But Jody rushed onto the stage to refuse Janie the opportunity to speak. “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” (43). This was one of the first of many times when Janie would be silent and not allowed to speak her mind. After Jody interrupted the ceremony, Janie was just upset that she didn’t even get the opportunity to speak. “She had never thought of making a speech, and didn’t know if she cared to make ...
... middle of paper ...
...ut Jody wanted her to do his wishes and when she resented some of the orders he gave her, he got angry because he demanded her unconditional obedience. But unfortunately, Jody passed because he could not accept her independence as a woman. And this was manifested in her not being allowed to speak in public, his constant ridicule of her and his rejection of her while he was on his deathbed.
Hurston, Zora Neale Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York: HarperCollins, 1998
Callahan, John F.“The Rhetoric of Intamacy and Immensity” in Bloom, Harold ed. Modern Critical Interpretations, Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God”. New York: Chelsea House, 1987
Meese, Elizabeth. “Orality and Textuality” in Bloom, Harold ed. Modern Critical Interpretations, Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God”. New York: Chelsea House, 1987
Walker, S. Jay “Zora Neale Hurston” in Bloom, Harold ed. Modern Critical Interpretations, Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God”. New York: Chelsea House, 1987
Wall, Cheryl A. “Zora Neale Hurston” in Draper, James P ed. Black Literature Criticism. Vol 2; Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1992
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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)
- The traditional human existence encounters immense and miniscule transformations in predominant viewpoints directly affecting subsequent proceedings as individuals embark upon an expedition of lucid self-expression to explore personal identity. Literary pieces produced during times of revolution to gain equality and flourishing cultural advancement as artistic innovations, primarily in the Harlem Renaissance, communicates deliberately the liberation of the individuals frequently portrayed as characters.... [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God]
785 words (2.2 pages)
- Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston portrays the religion of black people as a form of identity. Each individual in the black society Hurston has created worships a different God. But all members of her society find their identities by being able to believe in a God, spiritual or other. Grandma’s worship of Jesus and the “Good Lawd,” Joe Starks’ worship of himself, Mrs. Turner’s worship of white characteristics, and Janie’s worship of love, all stem from a lack of jurisdiction in the society they inhabit.... [tags: Hurston Their Eyes Watching God Essays]
1505 words (4.3 pages)
- Zora Neale Hurston's They Eyes Were Watching God It’s no wonder that “[t]he hurricane scene in Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is a famous one and [that] other writers have used it in an effort to signify on Hurston” (Mills, “Hurston”). The final, climactic portion of this scene acts as the central metaphor of the novel and illustrates the pivotal interactions that Janie, the protagonist, has with her Nanny and each of her three husbands. In each relationship, Janie tries to “’go tuh God, and…find out about livin’ fuh [herself]’” (192).... [tags: Hurston Eyes Watching God Essays]
2177 words (6.2 pages)
- Love is different for each and every person. For some, it comes easy and happens early in life. For others, such as Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, it happened much later in life after two unsuccessful marriages. Janie’s grandmother, Nanny raised Janie to be attracted to financial security and physical protection instead of seeking love. Nanny continually emphasized that love was something that was bound to happen after those needs were met; even though Nanny never married.... [tags: Their Eyes Watching God Hurston]
1663 words (4.8 pages)
- Love in Their Eyes Were Watching God Love plays a very important role in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes were watching God. Janie spent her days looking for love. She thought of love just as she thought of the elements of springtime: Sunny days, bright skies, a bee pollinating pear tree blossoms. She searched far and wide for this kind of perfect love. Logan Killicks couldn't give this kind of love to Janie. He may not have loved her at all. To him, Janie was just another working set of hands.... [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]
639 words (1.8 pages)
- Violence in Hurston’s Seraph on the Suwanee and Their Eyes Were Watching God Several scenes from Seraph on the Suwanee parallel scenes from Their Eyes Were Watching God. The scene beginning “The gun came up…” on page 183 of Their Eyes Were Watching God and ending “…pried the dead Tea Cake’s teeth from her arm” on page 184 echoes the scene in Seraph on the Suwanee beginning “She flung her hands up…” on page 145 and ending “ ‘…just as fast as you can’” on page 146. The premise for each scene is identical.... [tags: Their Eyes Watching God Seraph Suwanee]
884 words (2.5 pages)
- Imagery of the Sea in Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Seraph on the Suwannee “She Called In Her Soul to Come and See” Both Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Seraph on the Suwannee act as accounts of female recognition. The two protagonists of the novels, Janie and Arvay, come realize the significance of personal enjoyment of life for one’s self, and how such an awareness causes you to be surrounded you with people who love you for your own happiness. In both novels Hurston uses literal and figurative imagery of the sea as a symbol for this self-affirmation.... [tags: Their Eyes Watching God Seraph Suwanee]
589 words (1.7 pages)
- Searching for an Inner-Self in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston a young girl named Janie begins her life unknown to herself. She searches for the horizon as it illustrates the distance one must travel in order to distinguish between illusion and reality, dream and truth, role and self. (Hemenway 75). She is unaware of life?s two most precious gifts: love and the truth. Janie is raised by her suppressive grandmother who diminishes her view of life.... [tags: Hurston Eyes Watching God Essays]
11402 words (32.6 pages)
- Men in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God tells the story of how a young woman, Janie, finds her place and identity in life. Deborah Clarke argues that slavery in this novel forces women to fade into the background, losing their identity and definition of self. Many critics, like Clarke, look at this work focusing on the development of a self-identity from a woman's perspective, completely ignoring the plight and journey of the men in the novel.... [tags: Hurston Their Eyes Watching God Essays]
2713 words (7.8 pages)