Essay about Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal

Essay about Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal

Length: 1344 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In the nineteen thirties, parents raised their daughters with a strict criterion for the way they were required to live their lives in marriage. Regardless of love, women only strived to marry men who owned great deals of land. In their eyes, the more land their husbands owned, the more stability they were offered. They lived at their husband’s beck and call, and did not openly oppose to their thoughts. Women rarely strayed away from this stability. In Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston, the main character Janie is raised with belief as well. Although Janie is raised with this belief, a pear tree and different relationships throughout her life trigger a change in the way she views marriage. Merriam Webster defines an awakening as becoming conscious or aware of something. In the novel, Janie’s eye opening experience occurs while she watches bees pollinate a pear tree in her grandmother’s backyard. This is a pivotal moment in the novel because now that she is aware of what she believes a marriage is, she begins to search for someone to share what she witnessed under the pear tree with. Janie undergoes multiple phases of her awakening through failed relationships, giving her the ability to find love and inner- strength.
Janie’s awakening begins in her grandmother’s backyard while she watches bees pollinate the pear tree that later symbolizes her emerging womanhood. Hurston describes what Janie sees under the pear tree by stating, “She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was a marriage!” (11). Janie allows ...


... middle of paper ...


...e’s awakening: “We finally Witness her fully integrated body, mind, and soul, encompassing the promise of the horizon” (Plant 71). Despite the fluctuating process of her awakening through two failed relationships, Janie gains inner- strength and the understanding of love.



Works Cited

Campbell, Josie P. Student Companion to Zora Neale Hurston. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2001. 63-68. Print.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006. Print.
Plant, Deborah G. "The inside Light": New Critical Essays on Zora Neale Hurston. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2010. 66-85. Print.
Singer, Michael A. "The Untethered Soul 12-Step Guide to Spiritual Awakening." Weblog post. Oprah.com. OWN, 01 Aug. 2012. Web. 22 Mar. 2014. .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston Essay

- In the nineteen thirties, women were raised with a strict criteria for the way they were required to live their lives. Regardless of love, women only strived to marry men who owned great deals of land. In their eyes, the more land their husbands owned, the more stability they were offered. They lived at their husband’s beck and call, and did not openly oppose to their thoughts. Women rarely strayed away from what was socially acceptable, and ignored what the main character, Janie, from Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston, could not....   [tags: women's role, social awakening]

Strong Essays
1373 words (3.9 pages)

Essay about Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal

- In the nineteen thirties, parents raised their daughters with a strict criterion for the way they were required to live their lives in marriage. Regardless of love, women only strived to marry men who owned great deals of land. In their eyes, the more land their husbands owned, the more stability they were offered. They lived at their husband’s beck and call, and did not openly oppose to their thoughts. Women rarely strayed away from this stability. In Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston, the main character Janie is raised with belief as well....   [tags: janie's awakening, marriage, womanhood]

Strong Essays
1344 words (3.8 pages)

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston Essay

- Henry David Thoreau once said, “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” This excerpt of wisdom is prevalent in the journey of Janie Mae Crawford, the protagonist in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. Janie spends the entirety of the novel searching for love and companionship, and on the way she discovers her truest self. When she finally determines her own identity, she realizes that she is a strong, independent woman of color who can defy the stereotypical standards placed upon women in the early 1900s....   [tags: janie, wisdom, tea cake]

Strong Essays
954 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on The Growth of Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God

- The Growth of Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God         Human beings love inertia. It is human nature to fear the unknown and to desire stability in life. This need for stability leads to the concept of possessing things, because possession is a measurable and definite idea that all society has agreed upon. Of course, when people begin to rely on what they know to be true, they stop moving forward and simply stand still. Zora Neal Hurston addresses these general human problems in her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Strong Essays
2959 words (8.5 pages)

Identity in Hurtson’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Kingston’s Woman Warrior, and Spiegelman’s Maus

- Identity in Hurtson’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Kingston’s Woman Warrior, and Spiegelman’s Maus Despite being a very diverse literature genre in terms of influence and inspiration, North American literature encompasses many works that share some very common thematic elements. Though there are several themes shared, one in particular can be found in most any work – the importance of identity. Particularly in some selected pieces yet to be named, identity is a very important element, not only because it is a necessity for a main character in any work of literature, but because these works express ideas about identity as being very individualistic – as opposed to being a mere result of cu...   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Strong Essays
1253 words (3.6 pages)

Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay

- One of Zora Neal Hurston’s best novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, presents several themes centered around an African American heroine named Janie. The most noticeable themes in this novel are Janie’s search for true love and independence. Throughout her life she experiences all types of love. During her search for true love, Janie finds her strength and her own independence, which makes her the perfect heroine in the novel. Janie searches for the love she’s always desired throughout the novel, the love that’s presented at the beginning of the novel between the bee and a blossom on the pear tree in Nanny’s yard....   [tags: Love, Marriage, African American, Romance]

Strong Essays
812 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Their Eyes Were Watching an Emmy, Not God

- Their Eyes Were Watching An Emmy: Not God Throughout the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, the reader is painted a picture by Ms. Hurston but completely blindsided if they ever sat down to actually watch this horrid slaughter of what was a classic piece of literature. The screen play just another “ pet project “ for Oprah Winfrey, diminishes the light in which Ms. Zara Neal Hurston herself, portrayed is completely altered to fit the television, sex driving industry in which Ms. Winfrey subdues to the viewers....   [tags: Zora Neale Hurston novel vs. Oprah version]

Strong Essays
850 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on A Quest for Dependency: Their Eyes Were Watching God

- Zora Neal Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God describes the life of a black woman named Janie. Janie is raised by her grandmother and begins a close to life-long quest that can be viewed as a search for many things. Most scholars believe that this quest is for independence; on the contrary I believe that this quest is to find someone that she can be dependent on, the kind of dependency that "singing bees" have for pear blossoms. The first man that Janie is dependent on is Logan Killicks. Her marriage to Logan was partially arranged by her grandmother, Nanny....   [tags: American Literature]

Free Essays
631 words (1.8 pages)

Response to the Article on Vodou Imagery, African-American Tradition and Cultural Transformation in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.

- I recently read your article titled “Vodou Imagery, African-American Tradition and Cultural Transformation in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Your article mentions how Zora Neal Hurston wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God while she was collecting folklore on Vodou in Haiti. You proceed to discuss the Haitian Vodou imagery present in the novel as well as the influence that it had. You claim that Hurston’s use of Haitian Vodou doesn’t signal a rejection of modernity, but rather an acknowledgement of it (158)....   [tags: imagery, goddess, race]

Strong Essays
963 words (2.8 pages)

Jay Gatsby vs. Janie Crawford: A Race to Make Dreams Come True Essay

- Zora Neal Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God packs the narrator and the authors view on the then unusual role in gender and how they are undertaken in the novel. The opening line sets the tone for the novel and the character Janie Crawford, can insinuate parallel worlds between her and the character of Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby. If the parallels are being drawn respectively to the characters in the two novels, then the lines “Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Great Gatsby]

Strong Essays
1211 words (3.5 pages)