Their Eyes Were Watching God

1136 Words Oct 20th, 2014 5 Pages
Gender Roles in Janie’s Marriages and
Gender’s Role in Their Eyes Were Watching God

Over the course of the novel, Janie is married three times to three drastically different people. First is Logan Killicks, whom she has no choice but to marry; soon Janie discovers that she could never have loved Logan because he treats her as less than him. She leaves Logan for Joe “Jody” Starks because initially, she believes that she loves him. However, after he gains power in their community and his true opinion of Janie as less valuable than any man is revealed, Janie begins to hate him and she isn’t affected much when he eventually dies. After Jody’s death, Janie falls in love with Tea Cake, who treats her better than either of her previous husbands. He makes Janie feel valued and practically equal to him and other men for almost the first time in her life. Each marriage brings Janie closer to realizing her role and identity in society. In the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston explores each of Janie’s three husbands’ different opinions on gender roles in society and relationships to construct the idea that, in life, it is absolutely necessary to find your role in the world -- especially as a woman.
Janie’s marriage to Logan Killicks represents the idea that women’s only purpose in society and marriage is doing the work her husband assigns to her. As Logan says, "You ain’t got no particular place. It’s wherever Ah need yuh." (31) In this time period, women,…

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