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TEWWG Research Paper

Good Essays
Amelia Heath
Mrs. Russell
AP Language
25 November 2014
The Broken Family Cycle “Like father, like son; like mother, like daughter,” right? Well in this case it’s surprisingly not. In the 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie Crawford, raised by her grandmother, does not follow the family cycle of getting violently raped by a white man and having a child at a young age. Family cycles are scientifically proven, stating that patterns in previous generations will most likely continue in the following generation, unless somehow prevented. Nanny, who dearly cares for Janie, is beyond protective, only because she fears for her granddaughter’s safety. In Hurston’s novel, Nanny did not have good experiences with
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First being loving and passionate, the relationship turns abusive as Tea Cake takes his anger out on Janie. She does not completely break the cycle of abuse. This time, Janie does nothing. She does not fight back at all. It is not that Janie could not fight back. She really trusted Tea Cake to love and protect her. When she gets hit she receives an overwhelming sense of betrayal and shock (Kesler). It was truly heartbreaking. Fighting back could even make thing worse and make Tea Cake even more aggressive. Janie was so deeply in love that she couldn’t leave. Even if she wanted to, she would have nowhere to go. In many cases when the woman tries to leave, the man becomes even angrier and would threaten them (Kesler). Resisting the control of the abuser only seems to make matters worse. Just like Janie, many women are physically abused. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by their partner each year. Nearly eighty five percent of domestic violence victims are women and females between the ages of twenty and twenty-four are at the greatest risk of partner violence. Janie was only one of the few women to be assaulted. In the 1900’s, Janie’s time, it was even more likely that women were abused since men had more rights. One of the universal themes of literature is the idea that children suffer because of the mistakes of an earlier generation. In Janie’s case,
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