Perceptions of Marriage in Their Eyes Were Watching God

Perceptions of Marriage in Their Eyes Were Watching God

Length: 879 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

Perceptions of Marriage in Their Eyes Were Watching God


        For generations marriage has been accepted as a bond between two

people.  However, the ideals involved in marriage differ by the individuals

involved.  The book, Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston

clearly demonstrates these differences.  In the book a girl by the name

Janie is raised by her grandmother and then married off by her grandmother.

Originally all Janie knows of marriage and love is what her grandmother

tells her.  As Janie moves on in her life and re-marries, she finds that

everybody has their own idea towards the role of their spouses in marriage.

Over time Janie begins to develop her own ideas and ideals.  In Their Eyes

Were Watching God each principle character has their own perceptions

towards marriage.


        The first ideas that Janie was exposed to was those of her

grandmother, Nanny. Nanny saw that Janie was entering womanhood and she

didn't want Janie to experience what her mother went through.  So Nanny set

out to marry her as soon as possible.  When Janie asked about love, she was

told that marriage makes love and she will find love after she marries

Logan.  Nanny believed that love was second to stability and security.

Only after those first two criteria were satisfied then and only then could

one experience love.  Nanny felt that a young girl like Janie was too young

to make decisions for herself, so when she caught Janie exploring her

womanhood Nanny felt that she needed to marry Janie as quickly as possible

so that she could find love in a safe a secure environment.  Nanny has her

own ideals when it comes to marriage and Janie will soon learn that

everyone's are different.


        Second, Janie sees Logan Killicks' perception of marriage.  In the

beginning it appears to Janie that Logan is a very nice gentleman, who is

constantly treating her well.  However as time goes on, Janie see Logan's

"true colors."  Logan feels that if they are both going to live together

and share their lives then they should do an equal amount of work.  Logan

soon puts Janie to work and treats her more like a mule than a wife.  Logan

didn't want a wife out of marriage; he wanted a pack animal.  Also, love

doesn't seem to be incorporated in Logan's definition of marriage.  As

Janie said "Ah know ‘tain't nothin' dere."  Logan didn't see marriage in

terms of love, he only saw it in terms of free labor.


        After leaving Logan in search of love Janie finds Jody Starks.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Perceptions of Marriage in Their Eyes Were Watching God." 16 Aug 2018

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Janie’s Self-Perception in Their Eyes Were Watching God

- In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, the character of Janie Crawford experiences severe ideological conflicts with her grandmother, and the effects of these conflicts are far-reaching indeed. Hurston’s novel of manners, noted for its exploration of the black female experience, fully shows how a conflict with one’s elders can alter one’s self image. In the case of Janie and Nanny, it is Janie’s perception of men that is altered, as well as her perception of self. The conflict between the two women is largely generational in nature, and appears heart-breakingly inevitable....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Research Papers
700 words (2 pages)

Essay on Their Eyes Were Watching God: The Undying Power of Will

- The traditional human existence encounters immense and miniscule transformations in predominant viewpoints directly affecting subsequent proceedings as individuals embark upon an expedition of lucid self-expression to explore personal identity. Literary pieces produced during times of revolution to gain equality and flourishing cultural advancement as artistic innovations, primarily in the Harlem Renaissance, communicates deliberately the liberation of the individuals frequently portrayed as characters....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God]

Research Papers
785 words (2.2 pages)

Their Eyes Were Watching Who? Essay

- Oprah’s interpretation of Their Eyes Were Watching God sends multiple important details and significant events on a mass exodus, completely altering the story. With a different title, changing focus, unrecognizable characters, an altered theme, and the absence of symbolism, the entire meaning of the journey skews in this false interpretation of a classic novel. The elements of racial conflict and the purity of relationships are also replaced, removed, and distorted. All of the major details in the original story never reveal themselves in the movie, making the end product calamitous....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God, Oprah Winfrey]

Research Papers
2003 words (5.7 pages)

Slavery and Marriage in Their Eyes were Watching God Essay

- In Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Heale Hurston a former slave named Nanny's ideal marriage is if the relationship provides both protection and security. Although people always have their own perspectives and standpoints of problems that are different from others, Nanny's own view of marriage is influenced by slavery and her ill-fated life experience. As a former slave, Nanny's idea of marriage is influenced by her social status. Back to the years of slavery, African-American couldn't get too much freedom, and they were treated as goods by their white masters....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Free Essays
811 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Janie’s Perfect Marriage in Their Eyes Were Watching God

- Janie’s Perfect Marriage in Their Eyes Were Watching God Human beings are not isolated individuals. We do not wander through a landscape of trees and dunes alone, reveling in our own thoughts. Rather, we need relationships with other human beings to give us a sense of support and guidance. We are social beings, who need talk and company almost as much as we need food and sleep. We need others so much, that we have developed a custom that will insure company: marriage. Marriage assures each of us of company and association, even if it is not always positive and helpful....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Free Essays
776 words (2.2 pages)

Zora Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God as a Creation Story Essay

- Zora Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God as a Creation Story Zora Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God is, among other things, a creation story. For creation stories are not simply myths about the historical origins of the universe and humankind but metaphors for individual maturation. Individual perception is, to a large extent, what constitutes the world. Hence, the individual is the source and embodiment of the world; Janie is, the narrator tells us, “the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop” (72)....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Research Papers
2560 words (7.3 pages)

Essay on Equality and Inequality in Their Eyes Were Watching God

- Equality and Inequality in Their Eyes Were Watching God In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, the author, Zora Neale Hurston, attempts to bring into light problems caused by prejudice. However, as she tries to show examples of inequality through various character relationships, examples of equality are revealed through other relationships. Janie, the novel's main character, encounters both inequality and equality through the treatment she receives during her three marriages.      Janie's first marriage is to Logan Killicks....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Research Papers
1323 words (3.8 pages)

Janie's Search for Identity in Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay

- Janie's Search for Identity in Their Eyes Were Watching God In the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, there are many lessons on a person's search for identity. Janie's search for identity throughout this book is very visible. It has to do with her search for a name, and freedom for herself. As she goes through life her search takes many turns for the worse and a few for the better, but in the end she finds her true identity. Through her marriages with Logan, Joe, then Tea Cake she figures out what is for her and how she wants to live....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Free Essays
993 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Voice and Language in Their Eyes Were Watching God

- Voice and Language in Their Eyes Were Watching God      In one way or another, every person has felt repressed at some stage during their lives. Their Eyes Were Watching God is a story about one woman's quest to free herself from repression and explore her own identity; this is the story of Janie Crawford and her journey for self-knowledge and fulfillment.  Janie transforms many times as she undergoes the process of self-discovery as she changes through her experiences with three completely different men....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Research Papers
2787 words (8 pages)

Characters, Themes and Imagery in Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay examples

- Characters, Themes and Imagery in Their Eyes Were Watching God         Zora Neale Hurston was one of the first widely acclaimed black writers to "assimilate folk tradition into modern literature and express her interpretations of the black culture throughout her books" (Bailey, 175).  She was also one of the most influential of black American writers during the twentieth century because she exceeded the barriers of race, sex and poverty.  Hurston's most acclaimed work is said to be Their Eyes Were Watching God, and has been read, adored, rejected, reviewed, and badgered by many literary critics.  "In a book rich with imagery and black oral tradition, Zora Neale Hurston tells us of a woman...   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Research Papers
2985 words (8.5 pages)

Related Searches

Jody Starks is a thriving politician with a hard work ethic.  He says he

loves Janie and even treats her the way a queen should be treated.  Jody

keeps Janie looking prim and proper in the house and store.  Jody truly

believes that women should be seen and not heard.  Jody believes that in a

marriage that the man is boss and the wife should listen to him.  He is a

true politician; on the outside he appears kind and gentle but from within

he is corrupt.  Janie still can't find love and continues her search.


        The final person that Janie attempts to find love in is Tea Cake

Woods.  Tea Cake comes in a rescues Janie from her misery after the death

of Jody.  It is here that Janie finally finds what true love is.  Tea

Cake's idea of marriage is a mutual relationship where he would prefer to

support Janie.  However when times are rough Janie willingly helps Tea

Cakes in the fields.  Tea Cake believes in being completely honest with

Janie and doesn't try to hold anything from her.  Also, like Nanny Tea Cake

sought protection for Janie he didn't want anything to happen to her; and

in the end he laid down his life for her.  Tea Cake's perception of

marriage is different from the others but it is still his own ideals.


        And the last person who has ideas about marriage is Janie herself.

In the beginning she felt that marriage made love.  But soon she found that

to be untrue.  In each of her marriages she found that marriage

expectations were different for everyone.  In fact Janie's parting word's

were, "you must tell ‘em date love Anita smoothen' la ugh grindstone data's

de same thing everywhere and do de same thing tub everything it touch.

Love is la de sea.  It's ugh moving' thing, but still and all, it takes

shape from de shore it meets, and it's different with every shore."  Janie

found that marriage changes with the participants and you must find one

with who you are compatible.


        Everyone has separate ideas of what marriage should be. As Janie

learned marriage is what you make of it.  Love can only be found when your

beliefs coincide with another's ideas.  Even today people find out the hard

way that they are not compatible and that everyone's perception of marriage

is different.  This can be seen everyday among couples who separate and

among others whose marriages last the rest of their lives.  Life is a

learning process and we must take the bad with the good.



Return to