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Reaching Janie 's Own Horizon

Decent Essays
Alyssa Nou
Sarah Schol
ENGL 5-6 H
1 March 2017
Reaching Janie’s Own Horizon
Zora Neale Hurston begins Their Eyes Were Watching God with Janie as a naive sixteen year old who dreams of falling in love. Over the course of her life, Janie has three different experiences of marriage, that shape her sense of self. She begins a dull marriage with Logan Killicks that she only agrees to as a way to appease her grandmother, Nanny. Leaving him, Janie marries an ambitious man named Jody Starks who she thinks will bring her happiness and love, unexpectedly he marginalizes and oppresses her. After Jody’s death, she meets her third husband and her first real love. Janie’s controversial relationship with Tea Cake, against all odds, gives her power,
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Her first marriage establishes that Janie is inexperienced in her knowledge of how a society ruled by men runs.
Expecting a great future with Jody, Janie is let down to eventually find out that their marriage consists of Jody marginalizing her. In the beginning of their marriage, Jody becomes the mayor of an all-black town called Eatonville. As Janie is about to make a speech to congratulate her new husband Jody silences her and tells the townspeople his “wife don’t know nothin’ ‘bout no speech-makin’” (Hurston 43). Janie is powerless to her husband’s word and this is foreshadowing of how the rest of their marriage will play out. As Janie attempts to insert herself into a conversation with her husband and some townspeople, Jody tells her “you gettin’ too moufy, Janie” thus silencing her voice (Hurston 75). Janie’s marriage with Jody puts her down and her independence is limited. Their marriage is doomed because all along “he wanted her submission and he’d keep on fighting until he felt he had it” and this imbalance in power tipped their marriage over (Hurston 71). The Women in Literature and Life Assembly agree “He also wants to be dominating. Janie 's place is in the home. Janie wants open discussion and relationship, but Jody is too busy and in love with Eatonville” (Berridge 1). Janie’s want for love can not be satiated by Jody’s money and passion for
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