Examining Their Eyes Were Watching God English Literature Essay

The writer of the book, Their Eyess Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston was born in 1891 in Eatonville Florida. Miss Hurston was a novelist, folklorist and anthropologist until her decease in 1960. She spends most of her life-time at Eatonville ; nevertheless, Eatonville becomes the scene of Miss Hurston ‘s books including Their Eyess Were Watching God. Like Miss Hurston and her household, Janie and her 2nd hubby, Joe Starks, move to Eatonville, a town with a big figure of coloured people where Jody assumes the place of the city manager. This connexion between the writer ‘s childhood and that of Janie is apparent that some of Janie ‘s quandary are synonymous to Miss Hurston ‘s. Janie ‘s battle to detect her ego led her into populating a life of experiences where she tries to larn about life by set abouting several opportunities. As a consequence, she undergoes some emotional troubles before she deciphers her sense of fulfilment and individuality. In other words, Janie ‘s two unrealized relationships helped her to detect who she was and finally, realized her fulfilment in life and matrimony.

Life would hold been easier if Janie had the opportunity of being trained by her parents who would hold exposed her to a different position of life other than the Washburn ‘s. “ Ah ai n’t ne’er seen mah dad. And Ah did n’t cognize ‘im if Ah did. Mah silent neither. She was gone from unit of ammunition dere long earlier Ah wuz large plenty to cognize ” ( Hurston 8 ) . She was born with an unsure individuality. King claims that after Janie realizes she has no name, she becomes a portion of the conference of adult females which are described in the 2nd paragraph: “ Now adult females forget all those things they do n’t desire to retrieve and retrieve everything they do n’t desire to bury ” ( Hurston 117 ) . Turning up with the Washburns, Janie had a incorrect feeling of her racial orientation. “ ‘Aw, aw! Ah ‘m coloured! , ‘ Den dey all laughed existent difficult. But before Ah seen de image Ah thought Ah wuz merely like de rest ” ( Hurston 9 ) . The fact that Janie thought she was like the white Washburn “ chillun ” is cogent evidence that she was non in conformity with the actuality of life. Her grandma Nanny sought to give Janie a hopeful hereafter instead than to supply her with the basic information about her race.

Janie ‘s teenage old ages can be likened to a talker who is shut up even before she starts to talk. Without cognizing, Nanny reduces Janie ‘s ego esteem through her reaction to Janie ‘s actions. It becomes more obligatory when Nanny perceives Janie ‘s sexual relationship with Johnny Taylor as a ground to give her off in matrimony. “ You do n’t even cognize where injury is at ” ( Hurston 13 ) . Nanny ‘s declaration to get married Janie off to old Logan Killicks reveals her deficiency of trust in Janie ‘s determinations. Consequently, Janie loses her confidence. Immediately, all the phantasies she imagined under the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees had faded off ( Hurston 11 ) . Krasner describes Janie ‘s belief in the pear tree as religion that ne’er wavers ( Hurston 119 ) . More significantly, Janie ‘s position of the pear tree and the pollinating bees reveals a deeper significance than merely the act of pollenation. “ So this was matrimony! She has been summoned to lay eyes on a disclosure ” ( Hurston 11 ) . The vision of the pear tree initiated in Janie a call to escapade in hunt for self realisation and fulfilment ( Kubitschek 110 ) . However, the universe gave Janie the feeling that the universe is dominated by males, “ De nigger adult female is de mule uh de universe so fur as Ah can see ” ( Hurston 14 ) . Janie undergoes many obstructions in her hunt for self realisation.

At her stamp age, Janie learns that force and matrimony are the manner to travel about the things of life. Nanny slaps her to demo displeasure of her sexual brush with Johnny Taylor, but notwithstanding Nanny still confesses her love for Janie. “ Come to yo ‘ Grandma, honey. Set in her lap lak yo ‘ usage tuh. Yo ‘ Nanny would n’t harm a hair uh yo ‘ caput ” ( Hurston 14 ) . This signifies to Janie that force does non uncover the deficiency of love but the copiousness of love. This small incidence in Janie ‘s childhood ends her childhood and commences her big life. Nanny marries her off to Logan Killicks because she wants Janie to acquire the protection and security she desires for her. However, Janie ‘s vision of Logan Killicks began to impair the image of the pear in her head ( Hurston 14 ) .

After a twelvemonth of matrimony to Logan, Janie begins to do picks of her ain will because she did non happen the love she sought for in a matrimony, as Logan ‘s motivation for get marrieding her was to utilize her to roll up wealth. She complains, “ But Nanny, Ah wants to desire him sometimes. Ah do n’t desire him to make all the wanting ” ( Hurston 23 ) . She realizes that her chance for love may ne’er be found in Logan, who was non able enhance her sexual and religious bloom that began with her self-generated flood tide under a pear tree ( Ferguson 187 ) . Nanny assures Janie that she would larn to love Logan, but fails to pull strings Janie ‘s emotions in favour of Mr. Killicks. Mr. Killicks ‘kills ‘ Janie ‘s definition of matrimony, so she became a adult female ( King 688 ) . Slowly, Janie begins to recognize that even though people promise felicity, her feelings can merely be judged based on her ain consciousness and non on the promises of other people. The lone individual capable of commanding her emotions is Janie herself. She began to want that her life experiences become accelerators to her development and adulthood ( Krasner 113 ) . Levecq describes Janie ‘s development as a pursuit to “ self-fulfillment, independency, liberty, integrity, self- goon, autonomy, self-realization-a province supposed to stand for a stuff, physical, psychological, and religious freedom from the combined signifiers of subjugation ” ( Hurston 89 ) . Therefore, any clip she locates herself in fortunes that did non aline with her life ends, she moves on to a more promising option.

Similarly, Janie learns more about life in her matrimony to Joe Starks, as she frees herself from the intimidating image of the mule plow portrayed of her by Logan. At first, she realized that Jody, as Janie calls him, did non conform to the vision of the pear tree but he spoke for far skyline. Consequently, he begins to state her what she wanted to hear. “ Janie, if you think Ah purposes to tole you off and do a Canis familiaris outa you, youse incorrect. Ah wants to do a married woman outa you. ” ( Hurston 29 ) She sought to detect her ‘horizon ‘ , so anything that depicts the promise of her idealism got her full consent. Laudun describes Janie ‘s hunt as a “ hunt for possibility without the boundary of ego and other ” ( Laudun46 ) . Although Janie was held in high respect and respected as the Mayor ‘s married woman, Jody merely wanted her image to reenforce his influential place in Eatonville by forestalling her from taking portion in the societal life of the town. However, the twenty old ages of religious stagnancy and un-fulfillment Janie experienced in her matrimony with Jody finally led to the ego realisation and religious growing she desires ( Ferguson 188 ) .

After Jody ‘s decease, Janie additions a stronger sense of ego ( Ferguson 191 ) . Kubitschek describes Jody ‘s decease as an event that frees Janie from her retreat from the quest to self fulfilment ( Kubitschek110 ) . Besides, this symbolized the much awaited release and religious freedom she seeks. “ The immature miss was gone, but a fine-looking adult female had taken her topographic point. She tore off her kerchief from her caput and allow down her plentiful hair. The weight, the length, the glorification was at that place. She took careful stock of herself combed her hair and tied it back up once more ” ( Hurston 87 ) . Finally, Janie refused offers of matrimony from suers because she has already become experient through her matrimony with Joe and Logan ; she knew that the work forces who wanted to get married her acted as if they loved her ( Hurston 90 ) . She was wholly free and expressed her freedom to Phoeby when she said, “ Tai n’t dat Ah concerns over Joe ‘s decease, Phoeby. Ah jus’love Dis freedom ” ( Hurston 93 ) .

Aboard came the adventuresome Tea bar, who gave Janie a opportunity to populate life once more, and a more absorbing position of life. Unlike Joe Starks and Logan Killicks, Tea Cake, a immature adult male with an enthusiastic mentality to life, gave Janie the chance to love and be loved by him. “ After a long clip of inactive felicity, she got out and opened the window and allow Tea Cake leap Forth and saddle horse to the sky on air current ” ( Hurston 107 ) . Tea Cake displays an quenchless desire to be with Janie and this complements Janie ‘s desire for her type on adult male. She has experienced the oppressive attitude of her old hubbies that she attains a high emotional fond regard with Tea Cake. He helps her to larn new things, exposes her to a universe she ne’er thought existed and asserts her beauty. He even describes her hair as that the feeling underneath a dove ‘s tegument ( Hurston 103 ) . Most significantly, the freedom of address and look, which she was denied of in her old matrimonies, came to be in her matrimony with Tea Cake. Harmonizing to Darwin Turner, “ all Janie wants is to love, to be loved, and to portion the life of her adult male. But like the enchantress in the Wife of Bath ‘s narrative, she foremost must happen a adult male wise adequate to allow her be whatever sort of adult female she wants to be ” ( qtd. in Kubitschek 109 ) .

Gradually, as Janie begins to develop religious freedom with Tea Cake, her pear tree vision seems to be happening. However, nature becomes a treasonist when Tea Cake is forced to go forth the Earth after a rabid Canis familiaris bite. Krasner says Janie ‘s life with Tea bar has become a “ aureate up minute ” by the terminal of the novel merely as her pear tree vision is one in the beginning ( Krasner 119 ) . Janie is caught in a quandary of either seeing the one she loves go huffy or saving him at the cost of her ain protection. “ He had to decease to acquire rid of the Canis familiaris. But she had n’t wanted to kill him. A adult male is up against a difficult game when he must decease to crush it ” ( Krasner 187 ) . Nevertheless, Janie finds self fulfilment in the decease of Tea Cake because her prophetic vision of the pear tree in bloom is eventually fulfilled by her love for Tea Cake ( Krasner 117 ) .

Life had played itself out like a film. Death is a really saddening manner to accomplish fulfilment, but the idea of Janie happening love is promoting plenty. She first struggles with the over-bearing authorization of Nanny, Logan ‘s nauseous expression, Jody ‘s domineering attitude ; and eventually, Tea Cake ‘s love and decease before she develops a sense of fulfilment and individuality. Possibly, Janie would hold stopped seeking for love and decided to populate in sorrow of her past matrimonies. Surely, her dogged finding to happen out what brings her love and fulfilment paved manner for her to be the sort of adult female she has ever dreamed to be.

Work Cited

Hurston, Zora Neale, “ Their Eyess Were Watching God. ” New York, N.Y: HarperPerennial, 1998. Print.

Ferguson, Sally Ann. “ Folkloric Work force and Female Growth in Their Eyess Were Watching

God. ” Black American Literature Forum, Vol. 21, No. 1/2 ( Spring – Summer, 1983 ) : 185-197. 12 Nov. 2009. JSTOR.

King, Sigrid. “ Naming and Power in Zora Neale Hurston ‘s Their Eyess were Watching God. ”

Black American Literature Forum, Vol. 24, No. 4, Women Writers Issue ( winter, 1990 ) : 683-696. 12 Nov. 2009. JSTOR.

Krasner, James. “ The Life of Women: Zora Neale Hurston and Female Autobiography. ”

Black American Literature Forum, 23.1 ( 1989 ) : 113-26. 10 Nov. 2009. JSTOR.

Kubitschek, Dehn M. “ ‘Tuh De Horizon and Back ‘ : The Female Quest in Their Eyess Were

Watching God. ” Black American Literature Forum, Vol. 17, No. 3 ( Autumn. 1983 ) : 109-115. 10 Nov. 2009. JSTOR.

Laudun, John. “ Reading Hurston Writing. ” African American Review 38.1 ( 2004 ) : 45-60 St.

Louis. JSTOR. 14 Nov. 2009

Levecq, Christine. “ You Heard Her, You Ai n’t Blind ” : Insurgent Shifts in Zora Neale

Hurston ‘s Their Eyess Were Watching God. ” Tulsa Studies in Women ‘s Literature 13.1 ( 1994 ) : 87-11.JSTOR. 16 Nov. 2009

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