Patriarchy In Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Society has always valued men more than women. This is seen in the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston. The main character, Janie, lives in a patriarchal society, which is also fueled by racism. She struggles to overcome patriarchy in the midst of degrading relationships. She marries three different men, and each man shows the effects patriarchy has on a society. This novel shows how oppressed women are, compared to men, and examples are given through Janie’s different relationships.
Logan Killicks is was Janie’s first relationships shown in Their Eyes Were Watching God. Janie’s nanny is a patriarchal woman and believes a woman needs a man in her life for protection. Janie’s relationship with Logan starts off well, but
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He claims she is aging and losing her power when he is the one who is truly getting older (Hurston 79). The reader is able to see Jody’s aging quickly as he gets sick and begins to die. When Janie comes to his death bed to confront him, Joe dies (Hurston 86). This shows how Janie gaining power causes Joe to lose his power. This power shift ultimately leads to Joe’s death. After his death, Janie has a newfound freedom. She takes off the kerchief Joe made her wear and burns it (Hurston 89). This symbolizes Janie burning patriarchy and taking control of her life. Janie is now able to live the life that she wants. She “jus’ loves dis freedom” (Hurston 93). The patriarchal woman inside of Janie is dead. Janie no longer wears her hair up when she works in the store (Hurston 89) and participates in activities Joe would have never approved of, such as fishing (Hurston 93). Janie knows that she does not need a man in order to protect her and in order to feel…show more content…
Not much has changed except for the rights that women have. Women are still seen as inferior to men and are often beat by their husbands. Feminism is very prevalent in today’s society. Women stand up for other women and for themselves. However, this is not enough. Women should be treated the same way that men are treated. It is that simple. Established societal norms are ruining, and have been ruining, the world for a long time. Hurston was ahead of her time and would have been praised if she had published this book today. At the time, people were blind to the patriarchal influence over them. People are now able to open their eyes and see the cultural separation between male and female. A change is needed today, so books like this are not needed in the future in order to call our attention to an obvious
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