Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston Essay examples

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston Essay examples

Length: 1041 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Zora Neale Hurston, author of Their Eyes Were Watching God, presents many different symbols that all relatively revolve around two things; love and the fulfillment of Janie’s life. Janie frequently refers back to many things to guide her life, but her grandmother, “Nanny”, was the most prevalent of them all. As a child Janie spent almost all her time with Nanny who set guidelines for her. Nanny attempted to mold Janie’s mind to teach her to fend for herself, but to also find a man who could provide her with protection and a comfortable lifestyle, this way Janie did not have to worry about living a life Nanny lived. Their Eyes Were Watching God portrays Janie while she is married to three men; Logan Killicks, Joe “Jody” Starks, and Tea Cakes. In Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Hurston displays symbols in Janie’s relationships that help Janie direct her way through her life consisting of the pear tree, the removal of the head rags, and the horizon.
At the beginning of the book Janie is sitting under a pear tree admiring its perfect harmony with nature as “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” (Hurston 11). Janie realizes that “this was marriage” (11). This relationship between the tree and the bees provide the perfect image of marriage and making love to Janie. As a sixteen year old girl Janie is understandably inexperienced in all aspects of love, but after Janie sees the accord between the bees and the tree she understands and badly yearns for it. Her first marriage with Logan Killicks did not provide her with the l...


... middle of paper ...


...izon which symbolized her final “destination” of happiness that Janie strives to obtain before she dies. What can love truly mean to a person? Janie, like many other women, wants the perfect relationship with the perfect man but the freedom to do as they want, as referenced with the pear tree, but this book provides the reader with proof and examples that there is no such thing. In Janie’s search for her pear tree relationship she comes upon her head rag incident, preventing her from showing her individuality, and her search for the horizon which did not allow her to find the perfect man. The pear tree, the removal of the head rags, and the horizon together symbolize the restrictions placed on Janie’s life throughout her many years of marriage with different men.




Works Cited

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. N.p.: J. B. Lippincott, 1937. Print.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Janie and Contemporary Women in Zora Neale Hurston’s "Their Eyes Were Watching God"

- The character Janie in Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God is portrayed as a woman who has a modern mindset that is much too advanced for her thinking. Janie does things that raise much controversy with the community and endures situations that would be deemed inhumane in today’s society. Examining the abuse, oppression and criticism Janie undergoes in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God from both a contemporary woman's viewpoint and an early twentieth century woman's viewpoint reveals differences, as well as similarities in the way people respond to events....   [tags: Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God, ]

Strong Essays
718 words (2.1 pages)

The Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Hurston Essay

- In the novel The Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Hurston the main character, Janie goes through many events that shows her growing up. Also these events show her becoming an educated woman who finds herself. From her first kiss to her three relationships the author makes this change in Janie visible. Throughout the novel these events show Janie maturing and becoming educated about herself and the world around her. From a young age Janie Crawford has always been a beautiful girl. She lived with her grandmother, Nanny while growing up with a white family, The Washburns and she played with all their children....   [tags: Marriage, Love, Their Eyes Were Watching God]

Strong Essays
1321 words (3.8 pages)

Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston Essay

- Zora Neale Hurston’s, Their Eyes Were Watching God: Exposing Strength to Defy Society Although happiness can be attained by everyone, not everyone is able to choose their own contentment. Criticism has been and still is a problem in today’s society. Some people are forced to do what others tell them to do, not allowing them to decide the paths of their life. This problem can be observed in the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie’s quest for her identity emerges from her experiences, which make her discover that strength is the key to find self-fulfillment and true happiness despite a cruel society....   [tags: Marriage, Happiness, Their Eyes Were Watching God]

Strong Essays
1028 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Their Eyes Are Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston

- “Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember, and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly”. This quoted from Zora Neal Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Are Watching God, explains that women let the non-important things go easily, but if it is important, then women will make sure to obtain it. This can be seen in the novel with Janie. At first, her grandmother pressures her to marry Logan, then she runs from her marriage to marry Jody, but ultimately finds true love with Tea Cake....   [tags: story and character analysis]

Strong Essays
853 words (2.4 pages)

Their Eyes Are Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston Essay

- People are constantly searching for their voices. A voice gives someone independence and the ability to make her own decision. The First Amendment ensures that all United States citizens possess the freedom of speech; however, not all people are given the ability or opportunity to exercise that right. When a person has no voice they rely on others to make their decisions. Throughout Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Are Watching God, Janie constantly struggles to find her voice. Her marriage to Logan Killicks, Joe Starks, and Tea Cake help her discover and utilize her voice in different ways....   [tags: Voice and Independence ]

Strong Essays
1082 words (3.1 pages)

Belief in Freedom in Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston

- In the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, discussed the existence of freedom in life and overcoming the challenges that comes with it. Firstly, she used the differentiation between the two races. Secondly gender sexuality between the males and females. Thirdly, slavery of African- American suffered while and after the civil war from the whites. After is the history of Eatonville, Florida and the changes it had on the world. Next, is the culture and tradition the African-American had and practiced and its effect on the world....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God]

Strong Essays
3104 words (8.9 pages)

Essay on Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston

- Zora Neale Hurston, an acclaimed African-American writer, wrote the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God during a time when women did not have a large say in their marriages. The novel follows the main character Janie in her quest to find what she thinks is true love and happiness. Hurston highlights the idea of healthy and unhealthy relationships throughout Janie’s three marriages. Each marriage had its advantages but they were largely overshadowed by their disadvantages resulting in Janie learning the hard truth about married life for a women of color in the 1920s....   [tags: Love, Marriage, Their Eyes Were Watching God]

Strong Essays
1211 words (3.5 pages)

Love in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston Essays

- 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]

Strong Essays
1663 words (4.8 pages)

Searching for an Inner-Self in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

- 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]

Strong Essays
11402 words (32.6 pages)

Powerful Symbols in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston Essay

- Powerful Symbols in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston     In 1937, upon the first publication of Their Eyes Were Watching God, the most influential black writer of his time, Richard Wright, stated that the novel "carries no theme, no message, [and] no thought."  Wright's powerful critique epitomized a nation's attitude toward Zora Neale Hurston's second novel. African-American critics read a book that they felt satisfied the "white man's" stereotype of African-American culture and the humor which Caucasians saw in that prejudice....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Strong Essays
1406 words (4 pages)