Their Eyes Were Watching God

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<ul><li><p>TheirEyesWereWatchingGodresponse</p><p>Inthebildungsroman,TheirEyesWereWatchingGod,byZoraNealeHurston,athird</p><p>personnarratordescribesthelifeofJaniethroughhereyes.Janie,anafricanamericaninthe</p><p>earlytwentiethcentury,beginsasayounggirlraisedbyhergrandmotheronawhitefamilys</p><p>land.ThewhitefamilyprovidesandcaresforthemandJanieadmits,Ahwaswiddemwhite</p><p>chillunsomuchtilahdidntknowaswazntwhitetilahwasroundsix.Sincehergrandmother</p><p>wasraisedwiththebeliefsthattobesuccessfulmeanstomarryasuccessfulman,sheurgesJanie</p><p>togetmarriedasateenager.Hergrandmothereventuallydies,andJanierealizessheisnothappy</p><p>andshedoesnotloveherhusband.Throughoutherlife,sheismarriedtwicemore,eachtime</p><p>lookingforawaytoreachherdreams,throughthesemen.Janiestrugglestoconformtothe</p><p>outsideexpectationsimposedonherbyothers,aswellaswithherneedtobeindependentand</p><p>free,strengtheningtheoverallmeaningoftheworkhappinessandspiritualfulfillmentcannotbe</p><p>foundthrougharelationship,insteaditmustbefoundinsideoneself.</p><p>Inthebeginning,JaniemarriesLogantopleasehergrandmothersselfishand</p><p>materialisticdesires.HermarriageendsabruptlywhensherunsawaywithJoeStarkstobe</p><p>marriedonceagain.JanieisconsumedbythewayJoespeaksofpowerandabetterlife.</p><p>However,Janiesoonlearnsthatshewillnotsharethispower,butinsteadbeoppressedbyit.</p><p>WhenJoebecomesthemayorofasmalltown,Eatonville,hisneedtoberespectedalienates</p><p>Janie.Forexample,heforceshertowearherhairupinaragoutofjealousyandaneedfor</p><p>control.ItmusthavebeenthewayJoespokeoutwithoutgivingherachancetosayanything</p><p>onewayoranotherthattookthebloomofthings.Sherealizesthatshehaslosthergreatest</p></li><li><p>weapon,hervoice.JaniecannotspeakhermindandisunabletovoiceheropinionswhenJoe</p><p>becomesviolent.Healsoforceshertorunthetownstore,whichrepresentsprisontoher,forhe</p><p>abusesherphysicallyandverballyifshemakesamistake.SoonJoediesofkidneyfailureandit</p><p>isevidentthatJaniefeelshersenseoffreedomreturn.Immediatelysheletsherhairdown,</p><p>symbolizingtheendofheroppression.</p><p>ResentmentofhergrandmotherfillsJaniesheart.Nannyhadtakenthebiggestthing</p><p>Godevermade,thehorizonandpincheditintosuchalittlebitofathingthatshecouldtieit</p><p>abouthergranddaughter'snecktightenoughtochokeherwithit.InJanieseyes,her</p><p>grandmotherhadstolenherdreamsinthenameoflove.Afteralongperiodofmourning,Janie</p><p>meetsTeaCake.Heisconsiderablyyoungerthanher,assheisnownearlyforty,howeversheis</p><p>attractedtothewayhetreatsherasanequal.TeaCakeinviteshertoplaycheckerswithhim,</p><p>whereasJoewouldorder,gofetchmemycheckerboard.Withhim,Janiefeelsfreeandableto</p><p>reachherdreams.WhentheygetmarriedandmovetotheEverglades,herloveforTeaCakeis</p><p>evidentevenafterheleavesherforperiodsoftimesandhitsher.Janiebeginstoacceptmale</p><p>dominanceasagiven.WhenTeaCakeisbittenbyarabiddog,hebecomesmentallysick.One</p><p>day,hetriestokillJanie,andsheisforcedtoshoothim.Althoughsheisinlovewithhim,her</p><p>actionprovesshelovesherselfmore.</p><p>ThenovelreturnstothepresentandJanieisnowbackinEatonville.Sheforgivesher</p><p>grandmotherandJoe,assherealizestheyarenotbadpeople,theysimplyareunderwrong</p><p>beliefs.Herforgivenessandacceptancerepresentsherstrengthandgrowthasaperson.Foronce,</p><p>shedisregardswhatthetownspeoplesayabouther,asshehaslearnednoteverythingrequiresa</p><p>reactionandsilencecanoftenspeaktheloudest.Finallythatnight,sheremembersthedayshe</p></li><li><p>killedTeaCakeandisheartbroken.However,sheconveysthatheshowedherthehorizon,and</p><p>becomesateaseknowingthatshehasbeentothehorizonandback.Janiesinternaljourney</p><p>andoutsideexperiencescreateawomanwhovaluesselfloveovervainrelationships.</p></li></ul>

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