Eyes Were Watching God Essay

711 Words3 Pages
Their Eyes Were Watching God provides an enlightening look at the journey of a "complete, complex, undiminished human being", Janie Crawford. Her story, based on self-exploration, self-empowerment, and self-liberation, details her loss and attainment of her innocence and freedom as she constantly learns and grows from her experiences with gender issues, racism, and life. The story centers around an important theme; that personal discoveries and life experiences help a person find themselves. Nanny was determined that Janie would break the cycle of oppression of black women, who were "mules for the world". (Both of Janie's first two husbands owned mules and the way they treated their mules paralleled to the way…show more content…
Janie had a difficult time discovering her identity and it took her many years. Once she broke down the confining walls she held a tight grip on her identity. Janie looked whiter than other women. Her fair complexion attracted Starks and also contributed to his objectification of her. Janie's husband Joe humiliated the citizen's of Eatonville in similar ways as the white man and forced her into slavish servitude reflected in the identity-confining head rag he made her wear. She fought his tyranny by telling him off just before he died and reclaiming her identity by burning up "everyone of her head rags". Similarly, she encountered Mrs. Turner who was a symbol of internalized racism. Again, Janie remains true to herself and continued to form her own identity by refusing to leave Tea Cake and class off as Mrs. Turner suggested. She experienced true happiness with Tea Cake while taking in new lessons of life. She had a sense of freedom and regained innocence with him. He made most of the decisions, but she was treated as a person so she went along gladly. They lived in the marshes, worked side by side, and danced at night. Eventually her innocence was again replaced with a harsh reality, death. Janie wore her overalls because "she was too busy feeling grief to dress like grief". She had come full circle in her life and learned that there are "two things everybody's
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