Their Eyes Were Watching God

2014 Words Apr 30th, 2016 9 Pages
In the opening paragraphs of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, the narrator writes, “Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.” For Men, these wishes “sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by time.” For women, “the dream is the truth” (Houston 1), then they act and do things accordingly. Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Janie Crawford in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God both have a cherished aspiration unfulfilled that caused a void in their life when that dream was not realized. Indeed, despite the strong human yearning to fulfill a dream, not everyone can achieve what is hoped for. And yet, as Hurston’s narrator suggests, women are more likely to have success living their dreams compared to men, whose wishes “sail forever on the horizon,” and remain unattainable from a distance. Janie Crawford in Hurston’s novel fulfills and lives her dream of finding loving partnership while Jay Gatsby is not able to achieve his dream, which remains unreachable.
The strained and unsettling relationship between Janie and Nanny is dramatized when Janie turns sixteen. Janie allows her future view of what is important in marriage to be shaped by Nanny. Nanny presents a distorted perspective on marriage and love, believing it should be based on survival, not romance. The values that Nanny believes are most important in…

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