Effects of Betrayal in Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God

Effects of Betrayal in Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Effects of Betrayal in Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God


The first time one experiences betrayal from a close friend is the hardest situation to go through. Betrayal is clearly defined as to break the faith of an enemy, or to disclose a violation of confidence; but more specifically, and with less clarity in real life situations, betrayal is a complex action that occurs to everyone at some point in life. For a person that has been betrayed before, the simple definition does not do justice to the effects betrayal has on their life or how one can be betrayed. Apparent examples can be seen in Their Eyes Were Watching God, for the main character is clearly betrayed many times in her life.

The end product could potentially be worse than the act of betrayal. The person could feel that they cannot trust the person that deceived then, or might feel like they are unable to trust anyone else. They could have mixed feelings about keeping a friendship or being around that person on a daily basis. If it were something that had major consequences or really hurt that person, one would feel anger towards that said person, especially if it were embarrassing in front of a large amount of people or was suppressing one for a long time.

People can be betrayed in a variety of ways for different reasons, by anyone in their lives. A close family member or a best friend could betray one. They may go behind one’s back in order for more personal gain, but sometimes they commit betrayal in the interest of one’s benefit. A not so close friend could betray one’s trust by telling a secret or situation that was told or seen in confidence that was broken for a juicy story or just slipped unnoticed. Some people betray their friends or enemies in order to make them look bad; such as spreading a rumor about said person.

More than once was Janie betrayed; the main character from Their Eyes Were Watching God tells her life story to her friend and explains the things that were not so good in her life. Many people through the course of her life betray her, most recognizably she is constantly the talk of her town, and some townspeople that are jealous are the mouth of that gossip. They talk about her behind her back to make themselves more assured that she is not better than them.

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Her grandmother, Nanny, also betrays her; she wishes Janie to have all the best things in life, and she feels that she must stifle what Janie wants out of life for her best interest. Her second husband, as well, also betrays her. Joe tells her that he will never make her do the things that her first husband made her do, but after many years together, he goes back on want he promised her for his own self-interest.

Through the use of examples from Their Eyes Were Watching God, betrayal can be seen in many lights from Janie’s perspective on looking back on the past and looking back at what happened through her life. Janie shows that betrayal is a part of a person’s life; the effects, the people and circumstances surrounding the act stay in one’s life and make the person who they are in long terms. Betrayal can end up either as being some minute detail in one’s life, or can end up being a stab in the back for a long time to come.
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