Essay on Love in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Love in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

The novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1937) is a search for self-fulfillment and true love. On a porch in a small town called Eatonville a story is told about an attractive African American women's journey. Her name is Janie Crawford. Her struggle to find companionship and herself starts as a young girl who had lost both of her parents. She lives with her grandmother who is a nanny for a wealthy white family. Janie would play with the children without realizing a difference in their race. She first realized how separate she was when she looked into the mirror for the first time. This struggle of separation stayed with her for her whole life. She was then
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A tremendous hurricane struck and Janie and Tea Cake struggled for their lives. They were successful, however in the midst of their endeavor a mad dog bites Tea Cake. It turns out that the mad dog had rabies and Tea Cake does as well. He becomes mad and threatens Janie's life with a gun. In defense Janie shoots the gun and kills Tea Cake. After being found guilty in a courtroom, Janie returns back to her house in Eatonville to tell her story with the memory of Tea Cake alive in her memory.

Self-realization is the main theme in this classic novel. When Janie was a young woman, she would spend many hours a day in her backyard under a blossoming pear tree. She was drawn to the mystery of its brown stems and glistening leaf-buds. It stirred her greatly. The tree gave her insight to something that had much more meaning. Hurston writes, "She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was marriage!"(p. 11) She longed to be a tree in bloom with singing bees embracing the blooms of her branches-to shiver and froth with delight. But her bees were missing. Throughout the entire novel Janie is searching for this same feeling that the pear tree had.

While in her second marriage to Joe Starks, Janie refers back to the blossoming tree. The reader