Essay on the Voice of Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God

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The Powerful Voice of Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God

The world of Janie Crawford in Their Eyes Were Watching God was one of oppression and disappointment. She left the world of her suffocating grandmother to live with a man whom she did not love, and in fact did not even know. She then left him to marry another man who offered her wealth in terms of material possessions but left her in utter spiritual poverty. After her second husband's death, she claims responsibility and control of her own life, and through her shared love with her new husband, Teacake, she is able to overcome her status of oppression. Zora Neale Hurston artfully and effectively shows this victory over oppression throughout the book through her use of
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She felt far away from things and lonely. Janie soon began to feel the impact of awe and envy against her sensibilities. The wife ofthe mayor was not just another woman as she supposed. She slept with authority and so she was part of it in the town mind." A skillfull change in narration which combines the black dialect and the conventional narration occurs in the following quotation as the narrator shows how the towns people feel about a spittoon which Joe Starks bought for his wife:

"He bought a little lady-sized spitting pot for Janie to spit in. Had it right in the parlor with little sprigs of flowers painted on all sides...It sort of made the rest of them feel that they had been taken advantage of. Like things had been kept from them. Maybe more things in the world besides spitting pots had been hid from them, when they wasn't no better than to spit in tomato cans. It was bad enough for white people, but when one of your own color could be so different it put you on a wonder. It was like seeing your sister turn into a 'gator. A familiar strangeness. You keep seeing your sister in the 'gator and the 'gator in your sister, and you'd rather not."

What I attempt to show in the above quotation is that through free indirect discourse Hurston is able to effectively express the inner and outer voice of Janie. This voice is the voice of a woman who is
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