Throughout Janie’s journey she constantly struggles between freedom and control. Janie grows up well protected and controlled by Nanny, but the gate represents new beginnings. When Nanny sees “Janie letting Johnny Taylor kiss her over the gatepost,” she immediately forces Janie to marry Logan Killicks (Hurston 10). Janie fantasizes about love; she believes love will come with marriage, so she agrees to marry Logan Killicks. Once married, Janie’s journey takes off as she realizes that her “first dream was dead, so she became a woman” (Hurston 24). Janie’s life alters with Logan Killicks: she is forced to do harsh manual labor. One day she comes across a strange man named Joe Starks. He convinces her to run away with him, so she “hurried out of the front gate and turned south” (Hurston 31). Janie then meets Joe and starts another new beginning. The symbol of the gate reflects Janie’s growth as she progresses from a controlling environment to a caprice, but free environment. The gate also represents the beginning of Janie’s own decision making. Although she makes her own decisions now, she struggles at finding the right moments to express them. While married to Jody, she becomes voiceless and is forced to do hard labor. A citizen named Matt Bonner owns an emaciated mule that others ridicule and taunt re...
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...all of the possibilities for Janie. Jody “[speaks] for far horizon[,]” and this trait intrigues her; she wants to discover the unknown, and she does (Hurston 28). All of her experiences collectively bring her to the horizon; she “done been tuh de horizon and back now” and they develop her faith (Hurston 182). Janie looks to the horizon in search of hope, peace, and improvement. At then end of her journey, she “[pulls] in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder” with all of her experiences in the meshes (Hurston 184). The horizon gives Janie her experiences which develops her identity.
Each symbol exhibits Janie’s development as she faces freedom, rebellion, authority, destruction, and individuality. These symbols sculpt Janie’s journey into success and mold her into the woman she becomes.
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