Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God

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From the time Janie was a child she had problems fitting in with her peers. This was partly because of her nice clothing, wonderful complexion, and long beautiful hair. Janie's grandmother encouraged her to be different from her peers. She wanted to make up for her past mistakes raising children by having Janie become the person that she never was able to be.
     During Janie's early childhood she plays with the grandchildren of Ms. Washburn. It isn't until Janie is six years old that she realizes that she is black and different from Ms. Washburn's grandchildren. When Janie starts to attend school she is treated differently. Her classmates do not give Janie a chance to be friendly instead they decide Janie considers herself better than they are. This attitude causes Janie to make no friends at school.      
     When Janie is sixteen years old her grandmother marries her off to a potato farmer named Logan Killicks. Janie's grandmother feels that Janie needs to be married to a man that can take care of her so that she isn't wasted on someone who can not support her. The marriage to Logan does not work out for Janie. Logan sees her as a spoiled child who needs to learn to be a farm wife. Logan becomes one of the many people who do not give Janie a chance to be herself.
     During her marriage to Logan Janie meets Joe Starks and runs off with him. Janie desperately wants Joe to be the one person to understand her and love her. However, what Joe sees in Janie is that she has class and he wants to make her one of his possessions. Janie's marriage to Joe looks ideal to many of the townspeople but on the inside she is very unhappy and still yearning to be loved.
     When Joe dies many years later Janie meets a younger man named Tea Cake. She leaves the small town to Eatonville with him and they are married. It is with Tea Cake that Janie is finally happy. Living with him in the muck with the migrant workers Janie is able to discover her self, what she can do, and how fulfilling true love is.

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Though her relationship with Tea Cake is cut short by tragedy Janie takes away a feeling that she has struggled for her whole life. Janie is now able to live her life without being someone that other people create. With her new found identity Janie is able to believe in herself more than she was ever able to in the past.
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