Essay on Their Eyes Were Watching God

Essay on Their Eyes Were Watching God

Length: 1165 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

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Zora Neale Hurston was born on January 7, 1891, in Notasulga, Alabama. Her writing career began at Howard University where she published her first story in 1921. In 1925, Zora moved to New York where she became one of the many writers of the Harlem Renaissance. Her life experiences in Eatonville and her research into black folklore greatly impacted much of her writing skills and techniques. In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, the character known as Janie is faced with some difficult relationships with three men forcing her to find out who she really is as a woman and what she wants to be. By going through these different relationships, Janie eventually finds herself as a person and ends up actually helping another person see what love is about and how a true relationship should be.
     Janies first marriage with Logan makes her a stronger woman and shows her what she does not want in a man. She is forced into the marriage by her grandmother who wants her to be treated right and to be secure financially. In the beginning, this is not what Janie wants. She is not in love with him and she didn’t want to rush into a mariage. Janie expresses this in the book and she “knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman”(24). When she is living with Logan, she realizes the he wants too much from her and she should not have to do some of the things he is asking her to do. She tells Logan that, “Ahm just as stiff as you is stout. If you can stand not to chop and tote wood ah reckon you can stand not to git no dinner”(25). This meaning that chopping wood is a mans job for him to do and making supper is a womans job for her to do. She feels that she should not have to do a mans job. Janie becomes sick of living the life she has with Logan and finally expresses her feeling to him. She says, “Ah might take and find somebody dat did trust me and leave yuh”(29). Janie comes to the realization that this chapter in her life has come to an end. She soon meets a man by the name of Joe Starks who she feels will take better care of her and treat her like a real woman unlike Logan.
     When Janie leaves Logan and meets Joe who is waiting for her with a hired rig, she feels that, “From now on until death she was going to have flower dust and springtime sprinkled ...


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...ey have to let her do what she is going to do with the rest of her life without giving her grief. Janie and Tea Cake move to the Everglades where he teaches her how to hunt for animals and harvest food. She is truly happy with Tea Cake just sitting in their shack talking together, enjoying one anothers company. She finds who she really is when she is with Tea Cake. She learns that marrage is not about what someone does for a living or who they are in the eyes of other people but instead, that its all about the love and companionship for one another. “Dis ain’t no business proposition, and no race after property and titles. Dis is uh love game. Ah done lived Grandma’s way, now Ah means tuh live mine”(108).
     By the end of the novel, Janie has been through three marrages, her first marrage with Logan, then her second marrage with Joe, and then her last and only true marrage with Tea Cake. These three relationships helped her on her long road to finding what love is about and who she is as a person. She helps Phoeby learn this point of being in a real relatioship and being as two, a true couple.
          

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