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Their Eyes Were Watching God is a novel about a woman named Janie who grows up and finds out what life and God have in store for her. The story is very similar to Black Women by Georgia Johnson. This novel and poem share similar themes, characters, and symbols. This similarity is seen through out these two works within their writing.
These two stories both tell a basic theme of being born into a harsh world and the choices which must be made by the characters. The themes main focus is on the development of the baby and Janie and the paths they chose to follow. In “Black Woman” the child is ready to be born, but the mother isn’t willing to have the baby just yet. Her reasoning for not wanting to have the baby is the fact that the world is full of “cruelty and sin” and the “monster men” (Johnson, 4) who inhabit the earth are bad. The mother in this poem can see the world is harsh and that raising a baby in such a world would be difficult and a struggle. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie’s grandma wants her to get married to an older man right away. Her reasoning is because she too also has seen how harsh the world is and doesn’t want her baby Janie to be stuck alone and have to live in hardship. Janie, like the unborn child, is determined to go her own path and set her own life. They both seem to feel that they are ready for what life has in store for them. Janie wants to live her own life by her own decisions, and the baby wants to go on the same path and be born into the world to start its’ “path”. These similarities in theme are very apparent through the novel and relates to Black Woman’s story.
Both Their Eyes Were Watching God and “Black Woman” have very similar characters due to their decisive and protective qualities. Janie is very happy with life as she sees it and wants to make her own decisions. Her grandma wants to protect her from a wrong choice, so she decides Janie must marry Logan. ”I wants to see you married right away” (Hurston 12). Like Janie, the unborn child is ready to come into the world and live a beautiful life of happiness.
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Their Eyes Were Watching God and “Black Woman” show similar symbolism in their stories through the idea that the world is harsh. In Janie’s case, the town she lived in represented the harsh parts of the world and also represented struggle and confrontation in her life. In Black Woman, the monster men and cruel world also represent hardship and struggle to come in the unborn baby’s life. Another symbol is Tea Cake and the baby’s mother. They both represent a comforter and protector. “God snatched me out de fire through you. And ah loves yuh and feel glad” (Hurston, 180). Janie is showing how Tea Cake is her love and protector. He keeps her safe and helps support their marriage by getting a job, house, and money. The mother is also a protector because she is protecting her baby from the harsh society by not giving birth yet and stalling the birth until the world is a calmer place. All of these symbols shown in both the stories show that both characters need help through out their life and without the protection of love ones, they surely wouldn’t have survived.
“Their Eyes Were Watching God” and “Black Woman” share similar characteristic throughout their writing. The themes from this novel and poem are similar because both works are about the harsh world and the decision one must make. The characters in the novel and poem are related in a sense that all want the best for their young and are willing to make the wiser and more mature choices for them. Also, the symbols that are shown in these works are related because of the symbolism of a harsh society and uncertain choices through out life. These works of literature share much common thread and relate to one another is numerous ways.