Essay about Their Eyes Were Watching God

Decent Essays

In Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, the relationship between Janie and Nanny is one of great dispute over if it is healthy or not. The idea that the most influential person in Janie’s life is also the one who triggered her struggles when she was becoming a woman is sadly ironic. Nanny’s true influence on Janie is brought to light through symbolic, and decaying diction, Biblical, and Greek Mythological allusions, and natural metaphors, by describing Janie’s journey to womanhood, through finding her own opinion, acquiring a stable life from Nanny, her maturation, and what she gained when becoming a woman.
Through the use of symbolic diction, decaying diction, and metaphors, Hurston illustrates Janie’s inner struggle …show more content…

A new side of Nanny is implied through decaying diction when Nanny enters Janie’s mind on her knees because moving on the knees both brings pain for the person being walked on, and is a submissive way to be walked towards. This shows that Nanny both wants to force Janie to take on her opinions and ask for forgiveness. What surfaces in this passage through positive unlikely characterization, and biblical allusions, is the plight of Nanny in that she knows she is going to die soon, and wants to make sure that Janie’s life is stable before it happens. Through positive unlikely characterization Nanny attempts to explain the crossroads that she was at whilst raising Janie, “Lawd, you know mah heart. Ah done de best Ah could do” (24). Even though Janie and Nanny had just had a fight, Janie does not understand Nanny’s viewpoints. However, all that matters to Nanny is that the “Lawd” (24) knows her position. The fact that Nanny is not Janie’s biological mother creates tension between the two of them because the values and way Nanny would raise a child are out of date to Janie. When Nanny says, “De rest is left to you” (24) she is referring to the Christian God. This biblical allusion implies that Nanny believes that she has completed her mission of raising Janie, and the rest of Janie’s life lies in God’s hands. She realizes that if she were to continue raising Janie it would deteriorate their relationship further. Therefore, Nanny is explaining and justifying

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