Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Length: 823 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston



The novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, written by, Zora Neale Hurston, was

full of imagination, imagery and phrasing. Janie’s character and dialogue seemed to slip wisdom

into the reader’s head without them knowing their ingesting something deep and true. The ups

and downs of Janie’s life have made her a stronger person. This is shown endless times

throughout the novel. I feel that this story recognizes that there are endless problems to the

human condition, such as the need to possess, fear of the unknowing and stagnation. However,

the story does not give a feeling of hopelessness. Through Janie’s character, Ms. Hurston extends

a recognition and understanding of humanity’s need to escape emptiness. “Dem meat skins is got

tuh rattle tuh make out they’s alive.” (Hurston 183) Her solution is simple: ““Yuh got tuh go

there tuh know there.” (Hurston 185)

Janie sets out on a quest to make sense of inner questions. She does not sit back and

let the tragedies in her life cripple her. Instead it strengthens her. Through questioning and

discovery she better understands the world she lives in and how small a thing like happiness is

comprised of, “If you kin see de light at daybreak, you don’t care if you die at dusk. It’s so many

people never seen de light at all.” (Hurston 151) This quote caught my eye while I was reading

because it makes you truly think of what really makes you happy in life.

Janie married Logan Killicks for protection rather than love. He seemed to feel that he

deserved to slap her around. Janie soon realizes that she is living in Nanny’s dreams rather than

her own and decides to escape with Jody. A feeling of sudden newness and change came over

her. “Even if Joe was not there waiting for her, the change was bound to do her good.”

(Hurston 32) This shows a great strength in her character because even if Joe was not there for

her she would still be determined to change without him. Joe seems closer to her ideal, closer to

the dream of marriage that she has. But, he represents a black man who wishes to gain wealth and

power.

From the beginning of their relationship there were signs that he was not the love Janie

was looking for. “On the train the next day, Joe didn’t made many speeches with rhymes to her,

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston." 123HelpMe.com. 06 Dec 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=97682>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Janie and Contemporary Women in Zora Neale Hurston’s "Their Eyes Were Watching God"

- The character Janie in Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God is portrayed as a woman who has a modern mindset that is much too advanced for her thinking. Janie does things that raise much controversy with the community and endures situations that would be deemed inhumane in today’s society. Examining the abuse, oppression and criticism Janie undergoes in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God from both a contemporary woman's viewpoint and an early twentieth century woman's viewpoint reveals differences, as well as similarities in the way people respond to events....   [tags: Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God, ]

Research Papers
718 words (2.1 pages)

The Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Hurston Essay

- In the novel The Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Hurston the main character, Janie goes through many events that shows her growing up. Also these events show her becoming an educated woman who finds herself. From her first kiss to her three relationships the author makes this change in Janie visible. Throughout the novel these events show Janie maturing and becoming educated about herself and the world around her. From a young age Janie Crawford has always been a beautiful girl. She lived with her grandmother, Nanny while growing up with a white family, The Washburns and she played with all their children....   [tags: Marriage, Love, Their Eyes Were Watching God]

Research Papers
1321 words (3.8 pages)

Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston Essay

- Zora Neale Hurston’s, Their Eyes Were Watching God: Exposing Strength to Defy Society Although happiness can be attained by everyone, not everyone is able to choose their own contentment. Criticism has been and still is a problem in today’s society. Some people are forced to do what others tell them to do, not allowing them to decide the paths of their life. This problem can be observed in the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie’s quest for her identity emerges from her experiences, which make her discover that strength is the key to find self-fulfillment and true happiness despite a cruel society....   [tags: Marriage, Happiness, Their Eyes Were Watching God]

Research Papers
1028 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Their Eyes Are Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston

- “Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember, and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly”. This quoted from Zora Neal Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Are Watching God, explains that women let the non-important things go easily, but if it is important, then women will make sure to obtain it. This can be seen in the novel with Janie. At first, her grandmother pressures her to marry Logan, then she runs from her marriage to marry Jody, but ultimately finds true love with Tea Cake....   [tags: story and character analysis]

Research Papers
853 words (2.4 pages)

Their Eyes Are Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston Essay

- People are constantly searching for their voices. A voice gives someone independence and the ability to make her own decision. The First Amendment ensures that all United States citizens possess the freedom of speech; however, not all people are given the ability or opportunity to exercise that right. When a person has no voice they rely on others to make their decisions. Throughout Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Are Watching God, Janie constantly struggles to find her voice. Her marriage to Logan Killicks, Joe Starks, and Tea Cake help her discover and utilize her voice in different ways....   [tags: Voice and Independence ]

Research Papers
1082 words (3.1 pages)

Belief in Freedom in Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston

- In the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, discussed the existence of freedom in life and overcoming the challenges that comes with it. Firstly, she used the differentiation between the two races. Secondly gender sexuality between the males and females. Thirdly, slavery of African- American suffered while and after the civil war from the whites. After is the history of Eatonville, Florida and the changes it had on the world. Next, is the culture and tradition the African-American had and practiced and its effect on the world....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God]

Research Papers
3104 words (8.9 pages)

Essay on Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston

- Zora Neale Hurston, an acclaimed African-American writer, wrote the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God during a time when women did not have a large say in their marriages. The novel follows the main character Janie in her quest to find what she thinks is true love and happiness. Hurston highlights the idea of healthy and unhealthy relationships throughout Janie’s three marriages. Each marriage had its advantages but they were largely overshadowed by their disadvantages resulting in Janie learning the hard truth about married life for a women of color in the 1920s....   [tags: Love, Marriage, Their Eyes Were Watching God]

Research Papers
1211 words (3.5 pages)

Love in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston Essays

- Love is different for each and every person. For some, it comes easy and happens early in life. For others, such as Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, it happened much later in life after two unsuccessful marriages. Janie’s grandmother, Nanny raised Janie to be attracted to financial security and physical protection instead of seeking love. Nanny continually emphasized that love was something that was bound to happen after those needs were met; even though Nanny never married....   [tags: Their Eyes Watching God Hurston]

Research Papers
1663 words (4.8 pages)

Searching for an Inner-Self in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

- Searching for an Inner-Self in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston a young girl named Janie begins her life unknown to herself. She searches for the horizon as it illustrates the distance one must travel in order to distinguish between illusion and reality, dream and truth, role and self. (Hemenway 75). She is unaware of life?s two most precious gifts: love and the truth. Janie is raised by her suppressive grandmother who diminishes her view of life....   [tags: Hurston Eyes Watching God Essays]

Research Papers
11402 words (32.6 pages)

Powerful Symbols in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston Essay

- Powerful Symbols in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston     In 1937, upon the first publication of Their Eyes Were Watching God, the most influential black writer of his time, Richard Wright, stated that the novel "carries no theme, no message, [and] no thought."  Wright's powerful critique epitomized a nation's attitude toward Zora Neale Hurston's second novel. African-American critics read a book that they felt satisfied the "white man's" stereotype of African-American culture and the humor which Caucasians saw in that prejudice....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Research Papers
1406 words (4 pages)


but he bought her the best things the butcher had.”( Hurston34) Jody’s life revolved around

money this was already apparent. He bought her things because he was ownership-oriented. Jody

treated her more like an object than a human. He thinks that, “Somebody got to think for women

and chilun and chickens and cows.” ( Hurston 67) He is good to Janie but he is also good to his

animals. His attitude toward Janie is shown by the over worked mules he buys and sets free. He

allows the mules to wander around town as evidence of his generosity and wealth. “Freein dat

mule makes a mighty fine man outa you. Something like George Washington got uh town so you

freed uh mule. You have tuh have power tuh free things and dat makes you lak uh king uh

something.” (Hurston 55) Here Janie realizes that she too serves only as a reflection of his

position and wealth.

Tea Cake, on the other hand, gave Janie the freedom to be who she was, not who

someone wanted her to be. He allowed her to bloom. He not only encouraged her growth to

independence but also furthers it by teaching her skills and praising her talents. Although he does

not have the financial stability of the first two men he has an openness of mind that allows Janie

to escape from people’s expectations. He makes Janie realize that she has to decided what she

want’s out of life, and she discovers she hates the limitations the Nanny imposed on self-

fulfillment. The Nanny had taken the biggest thing God ever made, the neck tight enough to

choke her. Even though Tea Cake dies and Janie ends up alone, she has lived a life of experience

and a self-realization that gives her peace. There are years that ask questions and years that

answer. The fact that she is alone and is now in peace with herself shows the strength of an

African American woman.

In conclusion, Janie’s life was full of tragedy but she pulled through and made the best

out of what she had. She never gave up and always kept striving for the life she always wanted.

Even though she ended up alone in the end she was still strong and proud of herself. This shows

strength more enduring than anything. She never let anything hold her down and keep her form

becoming at peace with herself. This is when she truly finds happiness.



Return to 123HelpMe.com