Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay

Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay

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Throughout Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, nature is used to tell and help visualize Janie’s story. Each of the objects symbolizes certain aspects of Janie’s life and connects to her experiences. These ideas are portrayed through nature: the pear tree, the bee and flower, and the sun and horizon are all examples in the story. While all of these show the beauty in nature, the destruction it can cause is shown through the hurricane. Nature is shown as both a beautiful and destructive force to convey the connection it has with life.
The pear tree is quite a significant object throughout the novel; it is what causes the spark that creates the ideas of love and marriage within Janie. It not only symbolizes her love and hardships with love, but also her quest to find companionship. The tree must endure many trials and pain as it grows during the seasons and anything else nature brings its way. Much like the tree, Janie must grow and change throughout her seasons of love: learning what love is and is not with Mr. Killicks. Her marriage with Mr. Killicks is much like a cold winter, freezing over everything and leaving nothing left. Janie’s dreams of finding love froze as, “[her] first dream was dead, so she became a woman” (pg. 25). Janie not only lives through the winter season but also a beautiful spring that turns into a hot and endless summer, like her marriage with Jody Starks. Janie and Stark’s love is like the spring because it starts beautifully, Stark is her first true love and shows her new things and people. However, much like seasons, their love ends and continues forwards to the next. The love they have changes into bitterness, resent, and never seems to end, much like the summer. Similarly to Janie, the p...


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... sun and he was, “wrapped with the sun for a shawl” (pg. 193). The sun rises day by day, and this shows that no matter how hard yesterday was, life goes on.
The usage of nature in Their Eyes Were Watching God creates images that are easy to see and understand as well as symbols that can be related to not only Janie’s life, but others as well. Using nature like the pear tree and the horizon, compared with the destructive forces of naure as well, a sense of life, love, dreams, and death can be created out of words. Janie is able to achieve her dreams of finding love and keeping it even after Tea Cake is dead. She is able, “[pull] in her horizon like a great fish-net,” and to, “call in her soul to come and see” (pg. 193). Janie is able to reach her horizon and find herself and grow into a beautiful yet powerful woman, much like nature she is beautifully unpredictable.

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