I. The Pear Tree
The pear tree metaphor is one of the most prevalent and recurring metaphors throughout the novel. It is one that represents Janie’s sexual awakening, her relationships, her dreams, and her journey to womanhood. Gates argues that this repetition of the tree metaphor “is fundamental to the process of narration, and Hurston repeats the figure of the tree both to expound her theme of becoming and to render the action of the plot and simultaneous and as unified as possible” (78). The tree first appears when Janie is preparing to tell her story to Phoeby: “Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone. Dawn and doom was in the branches” (8), seemingly setting out what Janie’s story will entail and as Henry Louis Gates Jr. asserts in Zora Neale Hurston and the Speakerly Text, this introduction of the metaphor “re...
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Haurykiewicz, Julie. “From Mules to Muliebrity: Speech and Silence in ‘Their Eyes
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