Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston And The Scarlet Letter

1852 Words Mar 9th, 2016 8 Pages
In order for an individual to effectively rebel against an established society, he or she must maintain some degree of power. If leaders or majority groups intend to revolt against an aspect of society, they simply speak or act against their issue. A member of marginalized group does not have the liberty of rebelling so directly, as he or she would be immediately isolated. In addition, taking a stand through an unappreciated aspect of one’s status in society would be futile. Therefore, an individual must find his or her value to society and utilize it as their method for rebellion. This is exemplified in both Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston and The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, as women rebel against society without using their voices. The main characters, Janie and Hester, defy gender roles through external appearances, maintaining silence, and accepting sexuality. Both Hawthorne and Hurston reveal society’s value of women’s external persona through female characters’ nonverbal rebellion.
Both Janie and Hester use physical transformations to escape from the constraints of their roles in society. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie changes her clothes in a rebellion against the expectation of women to become housewives. When she runs away from her first husband, Logan, Janie notices “the apron tied around her waist. She untied it and flung it on a low bush beside the road and walked on” (Hurston ). Janie’s apron symbolizes not only her…
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