Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God and Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye

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"Dey all useter call me Alphabet 'cause so many people had done named me different names," Janie says (Hurston 9). The nickname "Alphabet" is fitting in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God because Janie is always changing and rearraging, never the same. Janie Crawford was constantly searching for happiness, self-realization, and her own voice. Janie dares not to fit the mold, but rather defy it to get what she wants. On the journey to find her voice, she marries three separate men and each one of these men contribute to Janie’s quest in different ways. In the beginning, the pear tree symbolizes Janie’s yearning to find within herself the sort of harmony and simplicity that nature embodies. However, that …show more content…
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. Vergible “Tea Cake” Woods hoped to attend a baseball game in Eatonville, but he somehow ended up sauntering into the beautiful Janie’s store. Tea Cake’s happy-go-lucky nature attracted her. "Janie looked down on [Tea Cake] and felt a self-crushing love. So her soul crawled out from its hiding place" (122). This was something new and fresh--something Janie had not experienced with anyone else. Eventually, they were married. However, ironically, by teaching Janie how to use a rifle, he in turn provided
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