Janie experiences several types of love throughout her life. Her first encounter with love, is the love she receives from her grandmother Nanny. Nanny’s love that she provides for Janie is a protective kind of love. Nanny wants better for Janie and she will do any and everything to make that Janie is protected. Nanny forces Janie into an arranged marriage with Logan Killicks because Nanny not only wants her to be protected, but she also wants a better life for Janie. While married to Logan, Janie finds herself in a similar protective love just like the love she was given from Nanny. Logan is only Janie’s protector rather than her true love. Because Janie isn’t happily in love with Logan liked she’d hoped for, she runs off with the charming Joe Starks.
Joe Starks is Janie’s escape from the stereotypical housewife life that she had when she was married to Logan. Joe is a black man full of dreams and goals with lots of charisma. Janie believes that Joe is the one since he’s so kind and treats her like the lady...
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... to him that he’s not the man that she married. Janie finds her strength in Joe’s death. Her symbolic moment of liberation is when she lets her hair down for the first time since she’s been under Joe’s rule. Along the way to finding herself, Janie receives criticism from other people around her in the novel. The porch sitters at the very beginning of the play make comments about her present life and what she’s wearing. The judgment also continues on with Joe and when the bigoted Mrs.Turner is introduced. Through all the judgment, Janie finds her strength.
In closing, Hurston does an excellent job portraying a strong and independent African American woman in her novel. It was very much uncommon for a female heroine to black in the nineteenth century, but through Janie, Hurston made it possible for Janie to experience gain and loss in her journey to becoming herself.
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