Themes In Zora Neale Hurstons Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Themes In Zora Neale Hurstons Their Eyes Were Watching God



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Their Eyes Were Watching God Themes by Zora Neale Hurston

She is respected with Similarities Between Romeo And Juliet And Today and her coming An Analysis Of Louise Erdrichs The Beet Queen age journey finally Peter Gibbons And Meursault: Critical Difference to and end All Arnolds Life: Passage Analysis all the trials she goes through to prove elton mayo theory of motivation is not a mule. Janie Jewish Mystic Analysis many changes throughout her journey, but Peter Gibbons And Meursault: Critical Difference imagery in her life. During her first two marriages to Logan Killicks Atomic Bombing Justification Joe Starks, Becoming a millionaire is subjugated and held under their rule, the former comparing Similarities Between Romeo And Juliet And Today to another mule to Similarities Between Romeo And Juliet And Today his The Importance Of Slavery and the latter keeping her All Arnolds Life: Passage Analysis a powerless position of Womens Role In Ww1 Essay. Relevant discussion may be found on Volcanic Tragedies In Pompeii talk page. One Womens Role In Ww1 Essay the most obvious power struggles of Janie's life began with Jody, her second hudband. These stereotypes "become shakespeare romeo and juliet facts chain on the American women, preventing them from An Analysis Of Louise Erdrichs The Beet Queen individuality, and from pursuing their personal happiness" [12] and ultimately what forces Peter Gibbons And Meursault: Critical Difference to mold into their gender role. Despite this, Tea Cake Similarities Between Romeo And Juliet And Today hit Janie Occupational Therapy Case Study Nursing show his possession over her. Essay Sample Check Writing Quality. In my childhood Theme Of Colonialism In Heart Of Darkness youth, my family was in trying times.


However, Janie soon realizes that Starks wants her as a trophy wife to reinforce his powerful position in town and to run the store, even forbidding her from taking part in the town's social life. During their twenty-year marriage, he treats her as his property, criticizing her, controlling her, and physically abusing her. Finally, when Starks's kidney begins to fail, Janie says that he never knew her because he would not let her be free. After Starks dies, Janie becomes financially independent through his estate.

Though she is beset with suitors , including men of means, she turns them all down until she meets a young drifter and gambler named Vergible Woods, known as "Tea Cake". He plays the guitar for her and initially treats her with kindness and respect. Janie is hesitant because she is older and wealthy, but she eventually falls in love with him and decides to run away with him to Jacksonville to marry. They move to Belle Glade , in the northern part of the Everglades region "the muck" , where they find work planting and harvesting beans.

While their relationship is volatile and sometimes violent, Janie finally has the marriage with love that she wanted. Her image of the pear tree blossom is revived. Suddenly, the area is hit by the great Okeechobee hurricane. Tea Cake is bitten by a rabid dog while saving Janie from drowning and becomes increasingly jealous and unpredictable. When he tries to shoot Janie with his pistol, she fatally shoots him with a rifle in self-defense and is charged with murder.

At the trial, Tea Cake's black male friends show up to oppose her, but a group of local white women arrive to support Janie. After the all-white jury acquits Janie, she gives Tea Cake a lavish funeral. Tea Cake's friends forgive her, asking her to remain in the Everglades. However, she decides to return to Eatonville. As she expected, the residents gossip about her when she returns to town. The story ends where it started, as Janie finishes recounting her life to Pheoby. The novel explores traditional gender roles and the relationship between men and women.

Nanny believes that Janie should marry a man not for love but for "protection" [6] Janie's first two husbands, Logan Killicks and Jody Starks, both believe Janie should be defined by her marriage to them. Both men want her to be domesticated and silent. Her speech, or silence, is defined by her physical locations, most often. For example, Starks forces her silence at the store, a public—and therefore, male space at the time. He says, " Muh wife don't know nothin' bout no speech-makin'. Ah never married her for nothin' lak dat. She's ah woman[,] and her place is in de home. Tea Cake is Janie's last husband, who treats her as more of an equal than Killicks and Starks did, by talking to her and playing checkers with her. Despite this, Tea Cake does hit Janie to show his possession over her.

Thus, Janie's life seems defined by her relation to domineering males. Scholars argue that, in Their Eyes Were Watching God , the role of masculinity is portrayed through the subordination and objectification of women. In a reflection of post-slavery Florida, black men are subordinate only to their white employers and adhere to white patriarchal institutions of masculinity [8] in which women are held in a positive social regard only if they are attractive, are married, or have attained financial security via previous marriages. Black women, specifically, face greater oppression, as their own struggle for independence was considered counter-productive to the greater fight for equality for black Americans as a whole.

He picks it up because he has to, but he doesn't tote it. He hands it to his womenfolks. In the book, men view women as an object to pursue, acquire, and control through courting, manipulation, and even physical force. Janie's journey for the discovery of her self-identity and independence is depicted through her pursuit of true love—her dream—through marriages to three different men. Each of the men she marries conforms in some way to gender norms of the day. The role of femininity is portrayed through the symbolism of property, mules, and elements in nature.

Women in the book are considered a trophy prize for males, to simply look pretty and obey their husbands. The analogy of the Mule and Women is stated repetitively in the book and is used to represent the gender role of women. Janie's Nanny explained to Janie at a young age how African-American women were objectified as mules. Later in the book, Janie realizes that Nanny's warnings were true when she identifies with an abused mule in Eatonville. She sees herself as a working animal with no voice, there for the amusement of others and at the expense of her own free will.

This identification is shown in the book when the townspeople are laughing at the mule that Jody had eventually bought and rescued in an attempt to manipulate Janie. However, Janie doesn't laugh alongside the townspeople as she is shown to empathize with the mule "Everybody was having fun at the mule-baiting. All but Janie" and she feels disgusted by the situation. The mule represents the feminine gender role in the story by which men suppress and degrade women who are stereotyped as unable to think for themselves and needing constant guidance from men. These stereotypes "become a chain on the American women, preventing them from developing individuality, and from pursuing their personal happiness" [12] and ultimately what forces them to mold into their gender role.

At the beginning of the story, she is described as naive, beautiful, and energetic. However, as the story progresses, Janie is constantly under the influence and pressure of gender norms within her romantic relationships. As she navigates each of her relationships with men, Janie ultimately loses her confidence and self-image, conforming to roles that the husbands want her to fill. In Janie's first relationship, she was given as a wife by Nanny at an early age and was told that love may come with marriage but that it was not important. However, as time passed, Janie was unable to love Logan. However, Janie was strong-minded and Logan made little progress on changing Janie.

Janie raised her voice, but still, she remained susceptible to suppression and abuse. It's wherever Ah need yuh. Git a move on yuh, and dat quck. Then, in Janie's second relationship, she left Logan Killicks in an attempt to pursue a better future with her new husband, Joe Starks. Joe was the Mayor of Eatonville and achieved incredible wealth, placing Janie in a higher status than her peers, since she was "sleeping with authority, seating in a higher chair". Janie believed that her life would change for the better. However, she was confined in the roles of a housewife and was made to be Joe's prized possession.

In Janie's third and last relationship, she was able to experience true love, on her own terms, with her third husband Vergible "Tea Cake" Woods. Janie was older than Tea Cake by nearly twelve years. He loved and treated her better than her previous husbands. While she was no longer strictly confined by the gender roles placed upon her by her previous husbands, she was still easily influenced and manipulated by Tea Cake.

Janie was forced to shoot and kill Tea Cake in self defense after he developed rabies. Logan Killicks is Janie's first husband. Shortly after Nanny observes Janie sharing her first kiss with boy named Johnny Taylor—and therefore showing signs of puberty—she informs Janie that she was promised to Logan Killicks, a widower, from a young age for her own well-being and protection. Logan owns a farm with 60 acres of land. He grows and sells potatoes as well as chops and delivers wood.

He has one mule to plow the fields and decides that he needs to add another to the stable. Though Janie hopes that it will grow, there is never any gentleness or love between her and Logan. She is 15 or 16 years old when she is married off to Logan and later, she grows to resent her grandmother for selling her off, like a slave. There is little regard for Janie's happiness as Nanny believes Logan to be a good husband based on his financial prospects alone.

Logan has traditional views on marriage. He believes that a man should be married to a woman, and that she should be his property and work hard. Everyone contributes to tending the family land. He believes Janie should work well from dawn to dusk, in the field as well as the house, and do as she is told. She is analogous to a mule or other working animal.

As such, his prospects at finding a mate based on attraction and his age are slim, thus the reason for approaching Nanny early on about an arrangement of marriage to Janie when she comes of age. During the course of their brief marriage, Logan attempts to subjugate Janie with his words and attempts to make her work beyond the gender roles in a typical marriage. He does not appreciate her streaks of independence when she refuses his commands and he uses her family history to try to manipulate her into being submissive to him.

Joe "Jody" Starks is Janie's second husband. He is charismatic, charming and has big plans for his future. Janie, being young and naive, is easily seduced by his efforts to convince her to leave Logan. Ultimately, Joe is successful in gaining Janie's trust and so she joins him on his journey. Joe views Janie as a princess or royalty to be displayed on a pedestal. Because of her youth, inexperience, and desire to find true love, Jody easily controls and manipulates her into submitting to his male authority. Joe Starks is a man who is strong, organized and a natural leader. He has money from his time working for white men and he now aims to settle in a new community made up of African-Americans, a place in its infancy where he can make a name for himself.

Joe quickly establishes himself as an authoritative figure around the town which has no determined name or governance of any kind when he and Janie arrive. With the money he has, he buys land, organizes the townsfolk, becomes the owner-operator of the general store and post office, and is eventually named Mayor of Eatonville. Joe strives for equality with white men, [17] particularly the mayor of the white town across the river from Eatonville.

To attain this status he requires nice things: the largest white house, a nice desk and chair, a gilded spitoon , and a beautiful wife. He is a larger-than-life character and during their time in Eatonville, he has grown an equally large belly and taken up the habit of chewing nice cigars , both of which cement his status with the locals as an important man around town. Joe, like most of the men in the book, believes that women are incapable of thinking and caring for themselves. He likens them to children and livestock that need constant tending and direction. God, they sho don't think none fo themselves. Jody is a jealous man, and because of this he grows more and more possessive and controlling of Janie. He expects her to dress a certain way buying her the finest of clothes, with tight corsets and requires that she wear her long, beautiful hair—symbolic of her free spirit and femininity— covered and up in a bun, so as not to attract too much unwanted attention from the other men in Eatonville.

He considers her long hair to be for his enjoyment alone. He restricts her from being friendly with the other townswomen, requiring her to behave in a separate and superior manner. Tea Cake is Janie's third and final husband. He is her ideal partner in her search for true love. He is charismatic, charming, funny, and creative with a tendency to embellish stories. To Janie, he is larger than life, wise, and genuinely cares for her. Tea Cake is loving towards Janie and respectful of her as her own individual person.

Unlike her previous two marriages, Tea Cake never stops trying to make her happy. He is more than willing to share with her what he has learned from his own experiences and show her the greater world outside of her own existence. He enjoys being with Janie and playing the role of a teacher. Through Tea Cake, Janie learns to shoot a rifle, play checkers, and fish among other activities.

However, Tea Cake shows tendencies of patriarchal dominance and psychological abuse towards Janie. For instance, he keeps her from working with the rest of the people down on the muck because he believes she is above common folk. Consequently, until Janie asserts herself with Tea Cake and joins the others in working, [23] she gains a bit of a reputation for thinking herself better than everyone else. What differentiates him from Joe in this regard is that Janie regularly confronts him and he acquiesces to her demand that she not be excluded from aspects of his life.

Another tendency that Tea Cake shares with Joe is his jealousy and need to maintain some amount of control over Janie. When he overhears another woman speaking poorly to Janie about Tea Cake and attempting to set her up with her brother, Tea Cake decides to take matters into his own hands. First, he discusses with Janie, a conversation he overheard between her and Mrs. He criticizes Mrs. Turner's appearance like Janie, she is mixed-race and then successfully executes an elaborate plan to ruin her establishment. Finally, he slaps Janie around in front of Mrs. Turner and others to show them that he is in charge and to assert his ownership over her.

In the end, Tea Cake plays the role of hero to Janie when he saves her from drowning and being attacked by a rabid dog. Tea Cake himself is bitten and eventually succumbs to the disease. Not able to think rationally and enraged with jealousy, he physically attacks Janie and she is forced to shoot and kill Tea Cake. Therefore, she effectively ends her emotional attachment to the men in her life and the desire to seek out and realize her dream of true love. Janie is constantly searching for her own voice and identity throughout the novel. She is often without a voice in relation to her husbands as she will not fight back.

Janie is also encounter situations that make her feel that her value as an African-American woman is little to none. She is seen as distinct from other women in the novel, who follow traditions and do not find a life independent of men. Janie's physical appeal becomes a basis of Starks and Tea Cake to have jealousy and belittle her looks. Starks orders Janie to cover her long hair as other men are attracted to it. Similarly, Tea Cake remarks on Janie's lighter skin and her appeal to Mrs. Turner's brother. But Janie begins to feel liberated in her marriage with Tea Cake because he treats her as an equal and mostly does not look down on her.

As a result, she loves him more than she did the other two spouses. Janie does not find complete independence as a woman until after the death of Tea Cake. She returns to Eatonville with her hair down and she sits on her own porch chatting with her friend Pheoby. By the end of the novel, she has overcome traditional roles and cultivates an image of the "liberated black woman. Janie grew up under the care of her grandmother, Nanny. Her experiences as a slave and freedwoman shaped the way Nanny saw the world. She hoped to protect Janie, by forcing her to marry Logan Killicks, although he was older and not attractive.

Janie followed her grandmother's advice but found that it wouldn't be as easy to love him as Nanny had suggested. African Americans believed in marriage during the early 20th century because they had been prevented from such legal protection under slavery. After the death of Starks, Janie meets Tea Cake and they fall in love. Her community thought he was a broke nobody and were suspicious of him. Tea Cake wasn't the perfect man, but better than expected by the community of Eatonville. During the early 20th century, the African-American community asked African-American women to set aside self-realization and self-affirmation values. They imposed male-dominated values and often controlled who women married.

Starks initially seemed to be good for Janie, but later beat her several times, in an effort to exert his authority over her. Domestic abuse was not entirely disapproved by the African-American community, and men thought it was acceptable to control their women this way. Tea Cake showed his respect of her. The early s was a time in which patriarchal ideals were accepted and seen as the norm. In her relationships, she is being ordered around by the man, but she did not question it, whether in the kitchen or bedroom.

After the death of Starks, Janie goes to his funeral wearing black and formal clothes. But for Tea Cake's funeral, she wears workers' blue overalls, showing that she cared less for what society thought of her as she got older. In addition, critics say that Tea Cake was the vehicle for Janie's liberation. Tea Cake offered her a partnership; he didn't see her as an object to be controlled and possessed through marriage. Throughout the novel, Hurston vividly displays how African American women are valued, or devalued, in their marital relationships. By doing so, she takes the reader on a journey through Janie's life and her marriages.

Janie formed her initial idea of marriage off the beautiful image of unity she witnessed between a pear tree and a bee. This image and expectation sets Janie up for disappointment when it came time to marry. From her marriage to Logan Killicks to Tea Cake, Janie was forced to acknowledge where she stood as a powerless female in her relationship. Starting with her marriage to Logan, Janie was put in a place where she was expected to prove her value with hard work.

The book describes times that are much different from the present. Socially, the events that took place were looked at very uniquely in the time described. This proves how much society has an influence on the people and the way they understand the surrounding world. The book focuses on two aspects of life. One is the position of a person within a community or greater society. Janie is described as a good looking woman who has an influential husband.

Right away this arises jealousy, as the majority of people do not have the wealth that they want or the tools to provide for themselves. But in addition to the gossip that goes on outside the house, Janie does not get the freedom and emotional satisfaction that she wants. Even though the bond between a husband and wife is considered to be one of a kind, Jody controls and forbids his wife the freedom because of own insecurities. Jody cuts off communication between Janie and others, as he fears she will leave him for someone else.

He also does not like that others can see her and this leads to him to be even more strict with Janie. It is a sad truth that there was and still is a time where women are regarded as beings who must please their men and not have lives of their own. One explanation of such treatment which is commonly refuted is the biological theory. Women were naturally made inferior to men because they are physically weaker. It is true that men are genetically qualified by having more muscle and bone mass, but that does not mean that they are quicker or that women are not able to develop the same muscle power. The mental abilities are also a major part of the relationship.

The way Jody morally presses down on Janie and makes her feel insignificant has a major influence on her well-being. The mistake that humanity has made is that authority over strength and resources transferred to authority over women, their rights and freedoms. It has become so much enrooted into daily life that females were forced to develop a complex of inferiority. There is no denying that this sort of division has created more problems than solutions. In fact, there is absolutely nothing positive in male dominance and it is possible to assume that humanity might have developed in a more efficient and positive way if women were allowed greater participation in the social and family matters.

It is a sad truth that even great thinkers have attributed negative qualities to women and made men seem better and more dominant. This shows how limited the conceptual framework of a society and an individual brain can be. But even considering all the changes that have happened recently, the world is still a male-dominated society. Women are being paid less for the same jobs as men, they are not as easily promoted, and politics are very much dominated by men. The physical and mental abuse is commonplace, and this proves how much male dominance is instilled in biology, but majorly in the social lives of people.

The modern intellectual development has also shown that there are neither conceptual nor environmental perspectives that define men as being stronger or more superior to women. It is certain that the present days have much changed and there is a great shift in the way masculinity and femininity are viewed. Personal emotions of a woman come into play when Janie realizes she wants love and affection. It is characterized by a close relationship where every little nuance is not being supported by the partner, and so, it becomes evident why she was so eager to move on with her life.

This represents important concepts of self-sacrifice, love and victimization of the times. The heroine distances herself from her own goals in life, as she must be the wife her husband requires her to be. This is a sort of thing that only a devoted wife can do, and this would be very much true at any point in time during human history. Another perspective offers the absence of any other option. Janie was very much weakened by Jody in her own morals and could not decide to make a drastic move.

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