Their Eyes Were Watching God Analysis

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Epiphanies On the Horizon

A voyage and return story is one of the seven basic plots in literature where the protagonist encounters new experiences throughout their lengthy journey and eventually returns back home with greater knowledge than they had before, as they have learned new life lessons along the way. Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is an example of this type of basic plot. Throughout her life, protagonist Janie Crawford lives in three different towns with three different husbands, who all provide her with unique epiphanies on the expectations and realities of being an African American woman in the early 1900s. During these three various points of time in Janie’s life, the horizon in the distance is metaphorically used in the text to represent the hope that she always holds on to. Quite literally, her trio of husbands widen her horizons over time, as she learns the deeper truth about marriage, independence, and happiness. During her teenage years, Janie learns that love is not everything that she expected it to be. When she is sixteen, she grows out of her childhood by the act of kissing a boy, Johnny Taylor, underneath a pear tree. After witnessing the loss of Janie’s innocence, her Nanny decides that it is time for this granddaughter of hers to become a woman. Shortly afterwards, Janie is made to wed Logan Killicks. This is also where she meets Joe “Jody” Starks, who is described in Chapter 4 how “he did not represent sun-up and
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