Janie went on a long journey to obtain womanhood. Janie grew up living with her grandma, who always wanted her to get married at a young age. Janie eventually did marry Logan Killicks when she was 18 years old. However, she hated living with him. He was described as a shallow, unlovable human being. This was when Janie became a woman because she realized that marriage does not assure love. Janie then married Jody Starks. At first, he seemed like a good person because he offered her a new life, but over time grew worse. Jody would constantly restrict what Janie could do, and would beat her for simple errors. It was not until late in their marriage that Janie finally spoke out to Jody of the way he treated her. Jody would soon die, and Janie
Janie) in a sexual manner. It also shows how jealous Joe was of Janie and her youthfulness, as Jody was 10 years her senior. The head rag “irked her endlessly” (55), however she submits to Jody’s control. With Joe Janie must hide her real self, being what her husband wishes her to be, presenting a façade to the outside world of whom they think she should be, not who she really wants to be.
Most people will spend years in a torturous relationship, but Janie begins to question “[w]hat was she losing so much time for? A feeling of sudden newness and change come over her” (Hurston 32). Before Janie put that feeling to words, she allowed Logan to walk all over her. Logan treated her like a subhuman, until “Janie had put words into his held-in fears…” After that Logan thought “[s]he might run off for sure enough. The thought put a terrible ache in Logan’s body, but he thought it best to put on scorn” (Hurston 30). After this, Janie begins anew, and with “The Persephone-like image of Janie walking to the horizon…as she leaves Logan and joins Starks… is a presentiment of the “death” Persephone must undergo if the maiden is to become her own queen” (Grewal 108). Janie experiences freedom from a relationship for a few glorious moments and she relishes in that fact, mentioning she does not mind if Joe is not waiting for her. She knows in that moment she can do anything and that she is free. This new power helps Janie survive her marriage with Joe, and brings her closer to complete development at the end of the novel. Even though Janie and Logan’s marriage is not long lived, the death of their relationship forces Janie to truly grow from childhood. Before Janie was a spoiled juvenile, however, after she rises from the ashes of her first failed marriage she begins to walk towards her dream again, even if she was immature about her
Janie's attraction to Joe Starks' charisma quickly diminishes when his overdose of ambition and controlling personality get the best of him. Although he is a big voice in the town, Janie only sees him as a big voice. All his money and power have no effect on her when all he does is ridicule and control her. He makes it clear where Janie belongs: "Ah never married her for nothin' lak dat. She's uh woman and her place is in de home" (Hurston 43). This is ironic because when she is with Logan, she wants to be in the house doing her own thing, but Joe is making it sound like confinement. It's as if she has no choice in the matter and Joe intends to make his power over her known. People have different desires and sometimes when we get caught up in our success, we can end up hurting others. Joe's reply to Janie is a great example of the insensitivity that can form from the pride we can possibly inherit when we achieve success: "Ah told you in de first beginnin' dat Ah aimed tuh be uh big voice.
Janie’s three marriages were all different for the most part, though they each had their ups and downs. Her marriage with Logan Killicks was the worst of the three. The only upside to this marriage was that she did have the protection and security her grandmother wanted, but Logan was not willing to make compromises like, “And ‘tain’t nothing’ in de way of him washin’ his feet every evenin’ before he comes tuh bed. ‘Tain’t nothing’ tuh hinder him ‘cause Ah places de water for him.” (Hurston 24) which shows that he wasn’t even willing to wash his feet so Janie wouldn’t have to smell his feet. Logan also expected Janie to help him with everything he was supposed to do and still make dinner for him. Despite all that Janie still wanted to love him but she just couldn’t do it. Janie’s marriage to Joe was better than Logan’s but was still really bad. Joe provided Janie with anything and everything she needed, but not what she wanted. Their relationship was about Joe, and what Joe wanted. Joe also thought he was superior to Janie. “Ah knows uh few things, and womenfolks thinks sometimes too!” “Aw naw they don’t.
All through the novel Janie travels through valuable life experiences allowing her to grow as a woman. Janie at first has a difficult time understanding her needs rather than wants, but as she continues to experience new situations she realizes she values respect. Janie’s first two marriages turned out to be tragic mistakes, but with each marriage Janie gained something valuable. When Janie is disrespected in her second marriage with Joe Starks, he publicly humiliates her, disrespecting her as a wife and woman. This experience forced Janie to come out of her comfort zone and stand up for herself.
In Janie’s marriage with Jody Starks, her hair is representative of her power when Jody represses it and when he indirectly liberates it by dying. At first, Jody draws Janie in with his own authority, self-confidence, and good looks. Janie seems infatuated with these characteristics; yet, ironically, she comes to loathe them, since she realizes that authority creates an air of condescension, self-confidence causes arrogance, and good looks eventually become mundane. Jody, in addition, seems to be extremely misogynistic and treats women like property. He accordingly believes that oppressing them as he sees fit is an acceptable manner of treatment, which is shown when he forces Janie to constantly wear a head-rag in
She ended up living a life full of manipulation and mediocrity. While living with Joe, she had to tend to many different tasks as his wife. She wasn't independent with him either. She was Joe's tag-a-long. 'She went through many silent rebellions over things like that. Such a waste of life and time. But Joe kept saying that she could do it if she wanted to and he wanted her to use her privileges. That was the rock she was battered against.' (Hurston, 51) Janie always had to wear her hair a certain way, always up in a head rag, in order not to attract attention to other men and women. She was always in a state of loneliness with herself. While married to Janie, he would not allow her to attend the people's gatherings believing that she does not belong to such a group of lower class people. Joe was depriving Janie of her independence and sanity. "Naw, Ah ain't no young gal no mo' but den Ah ain't no old woman either. Ah reckon Ah looks mah age too. But Ah'm us woman every inch of me, and Ah know it. Dat's uh whole lot more'n you kin say. You big-bellies round here and put out a lot of brag, but 'tain't nothin' to it but yo' big voice. Humph! Talkin' 'bout me lookin' old! When you pull down yo' britches, you look lak de change uh life." (Hurston, 75) This quote spoken by Janie proves that she was getting sick and tired of being pushed around by Joe and his stuck-up ways. This was a slow
Instead of treating Janie like the beautiful woman that she is, he uses her as an object. Joe was a man who “treasured [Janie] as a posession” (Berridge). Joe’s demanding nature suppresses Janie’s urge to grow and develop, thus causing her journey to self-realization to take steps backward rather than forward. In Janie’s opinion, “he needs to “have [his] way all [his] life, trample and mash down and then die ruther than tuh let [him]self heah 'bout it” (Hurston 122). It is almost as if Janie loses sense of her own self-consciousness due to the fact that she becomes like a puppy being told what to do by her master. The death of Jody is actually a positive thing. Joe’s controlling nature stifles Janie’s inner voice. While married to Jody, Janie became closer to others, however, she did not become closer to herself. Being on her own again gave her another chance to embark on her journey and realize who Janie Crawford really is.
Her decision to leave Logan for Joe Starks shows her determination to achieve her dream of love; she does not want to give and take this dream for stability. Logan is extremely ignorant of Janie′s feelings. When she tries to talk with him about them he simply replies: "′Ah′m getting′ sleepy Janie. Let′s don′t talk no mo′.′" (Hurston,30) He does not realize that Janie is serious about leaving him and that she wants him to show his feelings for her. Instead, he tries to hurt her like she hurt him, by pretending not to be worried about her leaving him. Janie gets to know Joe during her marriage with Logan. Right from the beginning he treats her like a lady. This is one reason why Janie is so attracted to him.
Joe constantly felt the need to make Janie feel horrible about herself. He would take control of everything she would do and Janie couldn’t do anything but feel sad. Hurston says, “The years took all the fight out of Janie’s face. For a while she thought it was gone from her soul. No matter what Jody did she said nothing” Saying nothing showed her husband that she let this mistreatment happen to her without speaking up for her rights. Being gone from her sole shows that Janie didn’t even know who she was anymore because she couldn’t even make simple choices for herself. This becomes a problem because Janie couldn’t even find happiness in her relationship, which is far from self-actualizing. These two quotes both show Janie’s passivity through silence and the feeling of worthlessness. This may be an example from Janie’s life, but this became a problem for many women whose husbands follow gender hierarchies to feel like they have more power over their wife. Society always views men to have more power and to be a more powerful figure than women which causes uncomfort in relationships. This strive of power stops people from reaching self-actualization because they are always looking for others to be better than instead of looking to reach their fullest potential. Reaching self-actualization is a big goal for many people because you
Janie’s relationship with her second husband, Joe Starks, is perhaps the most damaging. In the beginning of their marriage, Janie is proud and admiring of the successful, strong man she marries and runs off with. At first, it seems as though Janie has executed a successful breakaway from her unfulfilling life with Logan Killicks, and transitioned to an exciting, happy life with Joe Starks. Unfortunately, Janie and Joe’s marriage retracts from the infatuated love it once was, into a
Jody was supposed to be a better husband than Logan, but in the end, when Janie made a mistake, it was not good enough for him. Janie wants to be able to make mistakes, but that cannot happen. He also wants her to wear a head rag while working at the store because he is jealous of other guys looking at her hair. Again the townspeople make a comment and say, “Whut make her keep her head tied up lak some ole ‘oman round de store? Nobody couldn’t git me tuh tie no rag on mah head if Ah had hair lak dat” (49).
When Joe “Jody” Starks appears out of nowhere, Janie feels like her dreams have finally come true. But after a while, the marriage turns out to be little more than the stint with Killicks. Starks, like Killicks, treats her as property and not as someone he actually loves. One example is how Jody makes Janie put her hair up in a wrap while working in the store, rather than leave it down. Another is when he publicly criticizes her appearance, saying she is starting to show her age, when he is clearly at least ten years older: “’ You ain’t no young courtin’ gal. You’se uh old woman, nearly fourty’” (Hurston 79). Joe feels the need to tear down Janie, in order to make himself feel more important, which was an important part of being a man during this time.
She fell in love with Joe quickly and thought she had found true love. Not until quickly after they got married and moved into the city where Joe Starks became mayor and had built a store. Just like Logan, Joe was the same controlling abusive husband. As Joe told Janie “You behind a plow! You ain’t got no business cuttin’ up no see p’taters neither.” (26). Joe would also tell Janie how and what she should do. “A pretty doll-baby lak you is made to sit on de front porch and rock and fan yo’self and eat p’taters.” (26). Whenever she would embarrass him, he’d whip her. Soon after, it was all over when Joe died and Janie did not feel sorry for