Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston Essay

Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston Essay

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Third Time Is the Charm

In Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie Crawford is surrounded by stereotypical communities, in which the male figure has dominant attributes while the female plays a more submissive role, that influences her individual desire and the tension that builds between Janie’s outward conformity and inward questioning. Hurston puts Janie into the category of the “expected” standard of a housewife and through this role, Janie has to ultimately overcome the pressure of the stereotypes that ties her to the plain and habitual standards of a woman. The challenges of choice and accountability with each of Janie’s three marriages is important to the development of Janie’s character, which intensifies her understanding of the difficult expectations and standards of an traditional woman.
In Janie’s first marriage, her hesitation with Logan Killicks was not so much as an act of love, but it was based on business. Janie is trying to create a new boundary for herself as she does not want to fall into the stereotypical housewife role but Logan states “‘you ain’t got no particular place. It’s wherever Ah need yuh’” ( Hurston 31). So far, Janie is comfortable remaining inside the home, only because she has a sense of freedom in choosing how and when to do housework. However, Logan’s defines Janie’s role in the house by claiming that women do not have identities and that the women are accustomed to do whatever the men tell them to do, no matter where they are. Her relentless behavior continues to escalade after arguing with Logan and she discovers a “feeling of sudden newness…and turned south… even if Joe was not there waiting for her, the change was bound to do her good” (32). Being in this relations...


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...ning, Janie saw the world through her corrupted perspective of pear blossoms that blinded her into a relationship with Logan Killicks and Joe Starks. Even though Janie knew she did not love Logan and she thought she had loved Jody, she had yet to learn the true meaning of equality in a relationship and destined to find someone who she viewed as essentially good. Towards the end of the novel, Janie had faced the obstacle of shooting Tea Cake, despite her undeniable affection she has for him, in order to defend herself and the strength that had stemmed from the incident had been one of self discovery. Janie’s character development has finally been fulfilled, by the death of Tea Cake, as she believes in her own principles and chooses to separate herself from society, knowing that the only person’s love and judgment she intends on living by is her own.












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