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Their Eyes Were Watching God

Uploaded by gockets on Mar 20, 2004

Throughout Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie exhibits a yearning for a relationship which will fulfill her fantasies and desires for a perfect, whimsical relationship with a man. While dreaming about relationships, she often fantasizes about the Pear Tree, symbolizing her youth, beauty and fertility. Janie frequents the notion of the ideal bond of flesh, blood, and soul - much more than was to be expected of nearly all marriages of the time, especially for a poor African American woman living with no male presence in her household.

Janie’s first marriage, to Logan Killicks, is arranged by her grandmother. Though only sixteen and initially hesitant to join Logan in matrimony, Janie eventually accepts her grandmother’s judgment and marries him. For the first few months of their marriage (Hurston, 26) we know that Logan treats Janie like a queen, calling her “sugar” (Hurston, 22), “honey” (Hurston, 22), and other endearing terms, “[marveling] at her long black hair” (Hurston, 26), and speaking to her in rhymes. Soon thereafter, however, Janie observed that her husband’s amorous behavior had all but ceased. Rather, it had given way to an arguably understandable expectance of her to work and pull her weight, both literally and figuratively, around the property. It is at this point which Janie truly realizes that this is not at all what she dreamed of in life, and that her whimsical dreams were not being fulfilled. Enter Jody Starks, a smooth talking, snappily dressed young man who wins Janie’s heart almost instantly. It is here that Janie first begins to show her romantic escapist tendencies.

After about two weeks of secret trysts, each time Janie falling more and more for Jody, Jody asks her to leave Logan and run away with him. Two days later, Janie leaves Logan for Jody, expecting a better life where she will be treated more romantically and not be put to work. Though Janie’s life with Logan was not by any means a perfectly ideal one for her, it was exceedingly better than what many, many other African American women have at the time. However, Janie seems far too self-interested and wrapped up in her fancy to ever stop and consider this fact.

Janie and Jody arrive in the Florida town they had decided to move to, and find that it only has a few...

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Uploaded by:   gockets

Date:   03/20/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (941 words)

Views:   8271

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