Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston Essay

Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston Essay

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“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” From the moment one is born, one begins to form their identity through moments and experiences that occur throughout the years. In Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie’s identity of independence arises through her past marriages through the words and actions of her husbands.
Janie growing up was given everything she needed, forming an identity of being dependent of others and the thought of being on her own was nowhere near her future. Soon after Janie came into adulthood, she was forced into a marriage in which evidently sparked her need of independence. The marriage between Janie and Logan was more or less a safe net marriage that consisted of one another benefiting from each other in regards of having a secure life. Janie at the beginning of her marriage strongly believed that eventually she’ll have a marriage full of love where she can live in comfort and happiness, however soon enough “she knew that marriage did not make love” (25) but rather continued as a form of security for Janie instead of love as she had hoped. As her marriage with Logan continued, her dependable identity began to be pushed back and her urge to become independent was sparked. Janie throughout her relationship had the tendency to sit back and processes everything she was going through, never quite taking action to the occurrences going on. Scenes in which Janie tended to have her moments of taking in everything were most prevalent when Logan began to yell her for not completing her ‘obligated duties’ as a wife, “Mah first wife never bothered me ‘bout choppin’ no wood nohow. She’d grab dat axe and sling chips lak uh man. You done been spoilt rotten” (26). Logan had the tende...


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...nd cried, ‘Come heah people! Jody is dead. Mah husband is gone from me,’” (87) the fact that Janie’s reaction towards Jody’s death wasn’t sadness but rather a moment of self-realization was the moment the bud that had attempted to break free finally blossomed, and at last Janie began her life as an independent woman. Her husband was indeed gone from her but in Janie’s eyes that meant she will no longer allow another man to dominate her like Jody did.
Self-realization requires years and years to answer questions of who one is. Without experiences and moments one cannot become independent on their own for one needs the push to want to become independent, and in this novel Janie had to withstand years of painful marriages before she could realize that in order to be content with herself she had to learn how to be independent before she could ever be with anyone else.

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