“She was seeking confirmation of the voice and vision, and everywhere she found and acknowledged answers. A personal answer for all other creations except herself. She felt an answer seeking her, but where? When? How?” (Hurston 11). This quote exemplifies Janie’s desire for answers throughout her three relationships, displaying what she is longingly seeking for in life. Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, follows the life of protagonist Janie Crawford, a confident, middle-aged black woman who goes throughout life discovering her quest for spiritual enlightenment and self-discovery. In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston explains the hardships as ideas of maturity, sexism, and social class.
In many novels, authors have implemented social constructs in order to shape the mood of the books. In Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Hurston alludes to social class, especially race, subtly. Hurston’s background of anthropology and growing up as an African-American woman clearly plays a role in the social makeup of the novel. The main character of the novel, Janie, has various experiences in which readers can discover the social structures in her life. Through Janie’s story of self-discovery, Hurston reveals social constructs of the time, especially race and wealth, by including anecdotes, complex characters, and thought-provoking scenes that highlight controversial issues.
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston portrays the religion of black people as a form of identity. Each individual in the black society Hurston has created worships a different God. But all members of her society find their identities by being able to believe in a God, spiritual or other. Grandma’s worship of Jesus and the “Good Lawd,” Joe Starks’ worship of himself, Mrs. Turner’s worship of white characteristics, and Janie’s worship of love, all stem from a lack of jurisdiction in the society they inhabit. All these Gods represent a need for something to believe in and work for: an ideal, which they wish to achieve, to aspire to. Each individual character is thus
It is said that “boys will be boys”, with their constant “locker room talk” and forceful sexual approaches. Between this and the unspoken of societal rule that defending men from harmful stereotypes is enabling them, there is a large portion of men that get represented in an unfair light. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is a feminist novel, showing the struggles of the female protagonist Janie. In the novel, Janie details her three marriages and the issues she faces with each one such as her first husband treating her like a mule, her second husband’s domineering masculinity that the townsfolk encourage, or even her third husband who plays into the same forceful attitude that Janie tries to get away from. However, the novel
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is written with a narrative frame. The story begins and ends with two people, Janie and Pheoby, sitting on the porch of Janie's house. Janie is telling her story to Pheoby during the course of an evening, that evening becoming the entire novel. The point of view changes from a first person narrative to a third person omniscient within the first chapter so the reader can experience the story through Janie's eyes while also understanding the other characters and their perspectives.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston in 1937 was written during the time of the Harlem Renaissance, also known as the New Negro Movement. The New Negro Movement came about as a rejection of the racial segregation between blacks and whites. The black women felt this effect of racism more acutely than the black man. For centuries, Black women have been called the “mule of the world” and had been giving the status of inferior to white and the black man. Their Eyes Were Watching God encloses many elements of both racism and sexism. It is a story set in central and southern Florida. It follows the novels protagonist Janie in her search for self-awareness as she goes through three marriages. Elizabeth A. Meese has argued that one of
Their Eyes Were Watching God is a story that follows protagonist Janie Crawford, through many hardships, relationships, and adventures. As Janie Returns to her hometown in Florida after a long absence the novel is a recollection of her experiences and adventures to her friend Pheoby Watson. Janie struggles throughout the entirety of the novel to find freedom and peace with herself. She experiences relationships with a few different kinds of people all of which help her to eventually find that
In Their Eyes Were Watching God by Lora Neale Hurston, the main character engages in three marriages that lead her towards a development of self. Through each endeavor, Janie learns the truths of life, love, and the path to finding her identity. Though suppressed because of her race and gender, Janie has a strong will to live her life the way she wills. But throughout her life, she encounters many people who attempt to change the way that she is and her beliefs. Each marriage that she undertakes, she finds a new realization and is on a never-ending quest to find her identity and true love. Logan Killicks, Joe Starks, and Tea Cake each help Janie progress to womanhood and find her identity.
In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, the author, Zora Neale Hurston, attempts to bring into light problems caused by prejudice. However, as she tries to show examples of inequality through various character relationships, examples of equality are revealed through other relationships. Janie, the novel's main character, encounters both inequality and equality through the treatment she receives during her three marriages.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is about a young woman that is lost in her own world. She longs to be a part of something and to have “a great journey to the horizons in search of people” (85). Janie Crawford’s journey to the horizon is told as a story to her best friend Phoebe. She experiences three marriages and three communities that “represent increasingly wide circles of experience and opportunities for expression of personal choice” (Crabtree). Their Eyes Were Watching God is an important fiction piece that explores relations throughout black communities and families. It also examines different issues such as, gender and class and these issues bring forth the theme of voice. In Janie’s attempt to find herself, she
Zora Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God follows protagonist Janie Mae Crawford’s journey into womanhood and her ultimate quest for self-discovery. Having to abruptly transition from childhood to adulthood at the age of sixteen, the story demonstrates Janie’s eternal struggle to find her own voice and realize her dreams through three marriages and a lifetime of hardships that come about from being a black woman in America in the early 20th century. Throughout the novel, Hurston uses powerful metaphors helping to “unify” (as Henry Louis Gates Jr. puts it) the novel’s themes and narrative; thus providing a greater understanding of Janie’s quest for selfhood. There are three significant metaphors in the novel that achieve this unity: the
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston follows the main character Janie’s journey to find love on her own terms. The first man she married, she married to appease Nanny, her grandmother. The second man she marries is Jody Starks, who she marries because she failed to find love for her previous husband. After the oppressive Starks dies, Janie remarries Vergible “Tea Cake” Woods, the only man she has ever loved. They move to “the muck” where Janie feels more at home than ever before because she is with Tea Cake and because she can choose to indulge in her own relations without anyone telling her what to do or with whom to associate.
The film Their Eyes Were Watching God, based off of the novel by author Zora Neale Hurston, is a story of a young woman named Janie who spends the film narrating her life story to a friend. Janie’s story is one of self-exploration, empowerment, and the ability to express her freedoms both as a maturing woman and African American, throughout her life experiences. As she navigates through sexism and racism to find herself it becomes more evident that it will be more difficult than she initially thought to reach a point of happiness.
In conclusion, In Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston, the audience watches Janie enter a period of self-discovery. When Janie gains this power of freedom, she realizes she craves something different from what society had told her she would want; What we feel inwardly to be true, society seeks to take that truth away. With this experience an internal and external
Their Eyes Were Watching God was a book that presented the world with a new look on writing novels. Zora Neale Hurston’s experience in what she has seen through research was embodies in this novel. She demonstrates what data she has collected and intertwined it into the culture within the novel. While being a folklorist/anthropologist, and inspired by her life experiences, she developed a character who dealt with the issues that were not yet uncovered, female empowerment was one of them. Zora Neale Hurston defined this topic of female empowerment throughout the character Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God.