Janie's Self-Discovery Essay

1481 Words 6 Pages
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is about a young woman that is lost in her own world. She longs to be a part of something and to have “a great journey to the horizons in search of people” (85). Janie Crawford’s journey to the horizon is told as a story to her best friend Phoebe. She experiences three marriages and three communities that “represent increasingly wide circles of experience and opportunities for expression of personal choice” (Crabtree). Their Eyes Were Watching God is an important fiction piece that explores relations throughout black communities and families. It also examines different issues such as, gender and class and these issues bring forth the theme of voice. In Janie’s attempt to find herself, she …show more content…
Nanny’s idea of a marriage is “a haven from indiscriminate sexual exploitation and as a shelter from financial instability” (Jordan). Janie’s marriage to her first husband, Logan Killicks, is an unexpected grief and he disgusts her sexually. She tries to love him but their relationship lacks intimacy, romance, and fun. Throughout the novel, Janie is on a mission and she soon finds out “that marriage did not make love. Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman” (24). Killicks think Janie is spoiled and “counts Janie among the livestock on his farm, estimating her value by her ability to produce greater surplus value” (Ha 33). It is when Janie realizes Killicks plans to put her to work on a mule because she does not bore him any heir that she runs off with Joe Starks. Joe Starks is a “quick-thinking, fast-talking, ambitious man, headed for a newly founded all black community, where he plans to make a fortune” (Rosenblatt 30). Jody offers up a new start to Janie and she leaps at the opportunity of marrying him, “committing bigamy” (Rosenblatt 30). Jody becomes the mayor of Eatonville and provides Janie with a middle-class furnished house that does not provide her “with the felicity and self-fulfillment that she needs” (Ha 33). Janie is treated no more or less than that of the mayor’s wife.
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