Self-Actualizing Through Loving Others

1685 WordsJan 29, 20187 Pages
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others" (Mahatma Ghandi). In order to successfully achieve self-discovery and happiness in life one must serve and love others. Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God moves around from place to place in order to find happiness. Author Zora Neale Hurston's life parallels with this story, as she attended four different schools after growing up in Eatonville, Florida, America's first African-American town, where Janie first escapes for a new beginning (McLeod). Hurston studied cultural anthropology and started writing her books during the Great Depression (McLeod). The negative portrayal of blacks in the novel could allude to the sad times of prejudice when she grew up. Hurston struggled when growing up from her mother's death at an early age, her father's quick remarriage, and two of her own marriages that ended in divorces (McLeod). The serious matters of life and death in the novel might have stemmed from Hurston's rough childhood and early adulthood. From these tough experiences, Hurston has written many books on her ideas of living with love (McLeod). This life brought Hurston’s struggles into the novel where she teaches how to find true identity. Crabtree explains how "Hurston did not want Janie to find fulfillment in a man, but rather in her new-found self." Paradoxically, she exhibits the lesson of how one can receive self-knowledge through loving others selflessly. Janie's life of receiving hatred in
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