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Their Eyes Were Watching God Janie

Decent Essays
In her article “Tuh de Horzion and Back: The Female Quest in Their Eyes Were Watching God”, Missy Dehn Kubitschek argues against her fellow critics’ common misconception of Janie as “a passive prize” (109), in favor of, recognizing the “the independence and strength” (109) within her. Kubitschek showcases the independence and strength of Janie through outlining her heroine’s quest throughout, Their Eyes Were Watching God, according to the five qualifications, “answering the call to adventure, crossing the threshold into the unknown, facing various trials, finding the reward (either concrete or symbolic), and returning to the community” (110), provided by Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces. In doing so, Kubitschek expertly contradicts…show more content…
Janie’s ability to interact with the people of Belle Glade coincides with her finding a person, Tea Cake, she truly values in her life. Therefore, Janie’s relationship with Tea Cake allows her to have a sense of identity past the role of wife; she becomes a part of the community rather than a possession of an individual of the community. In comparison, Janie’s relationship with Jody made her a slave to the structure of marriage; she had no identity past being the wife of Jody. For example, Janie’s lack individuality in Eatonville’s conveyed by Hurston through the mouth of Hambo, “Yo’ wife is uh born orator, Starks. Us never knowed dat befo’. She put jus’de right words tuh our thoughts” (58). Hurston’s choice of allowing Hambo to express Janie’s lack of vocal presence within the Eatonville community further reflects the lack of Janie’s individuality. After all, Hambo isn’t thanking Janie for her words he’s thanking her husband conveying a lack of understanding of Janie being an actual person. Hurston further reflects Janie’s lack of individuality in this sequence with the phrase choice of “Yo’ wife” conveying the impression of Janie being Jody’s possession rather than being her own individual
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