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.
Janie starts her life without knowledge of two precious gifts: truth and love. Janie is raised by her oppressive grandmother who deprecates her view of life. Janie was taught to be allure to financial security and physical protection instead of looking for love. For Nanny, the easiest way to assure Janie a modest life was to keep her away from the attentions of useless mem. Nanny decides to marry Janie off young to a good man. Janie marries early to Logan Killicks, an older man who has a good position; he has a land and a house. There was not affection between Janie and Logan. Logan treats Janie like a slave and he only wants someone to share the work. "Janie!" Logan called harshly. "Come help me move dis manure pile befo’ de sun gits hot. You don’t take a bit of interest in dis place. ‘Tain’t no use in foolin’ round in dat kitchen all day long,” (Hurston 31). Janie is a woman who believes that both men and women should have their proper place and role in a marriage; the position of man is to be out in the barn picking up the manure, and the woman should be indoors, taking care of the house and making the meals. On the other h...
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...me along” (Hurston 141). For the first time, Janie has found happiness in a marriage, Tea Cake was not a wealthy man, but he was the perfect man for Janie. He reveals his love by praising in Janie’s beauty; he loves her the way she is— he is not trying change her into a different character just like her first two husbands did.
The primary conflict the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God is the tenderness of the division that occurs when the world (society, friends, parents) set standards of happiness that do not fulfill the needs of a person; Janie’s narrative indicates that life is full of injustice. At the end, Janie’s allegiance to her own needs makes her unconcerned to the townsfolks’ judgements. Similarly, young people who are struggling to conflict decisions can identify with the idea that strength and sacrifice can lead to self-empowerment and true happiness.
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