Their Eyes Were Watching God: Janie's Quest for Love Essay example

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In Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, the main character, Janie Crawford, is on a quest to find true love. Like many people, she begins her journey not knowing what love is. Janie encounters many obstacles in her quest for love. Even when she finds love with Tea Cake, more obstacles challenge their relationship. "de very prong all us … gits hung on. Dis love! Dat's just whut's got us uh pullin' and uh haulin' and sweatin' and doin' from can't see in de mornin' till can't see at night" (22). But, what is true love, and how does one know when they have found it?
Janie’s first significant romantic experience occurred one spring, at the age of sixteen, when she observed bees pollinating a pear tree.
She saw the dust-bearing
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She signifies the beginning of womanhood as the death of her “first dream.” Following her Nanny’s death Janie began to pursue her own romantic desires more freely. Before long, she meets her soon to be second husband Joe "Jody" Starks. Initially Jody is a gentleman. He showers Janie with compliments and promises in order to flatter her out of her first husband’s arms. Still new to the world, Janie mistakes flattery for love and succumbs to her need to absorb more about life and love, leaving behind her substandard life with Logan in lieu of personal development. She anticipated that “from now on until death she was going to have flower dust and springtime sprinkled over everything. A bee for her bloom" (31).After Jody has convinced Janie to run away with him, however, his affection begins to waver. This leads Janie to understand that "[Jody] did not represent sun-up and pollen and blooming trees.” However, “he spoke for far horizon” (50). “Janie knows that Joe does not fulfill the promise of the pear tree; but she intuits that she must travel in order to grow, and Joe is going places, first literally and then figuratively” (Chinn).
Janie, again, finds herself in a loveless marriage. Unlike her first, however, the lack of affection is reciprocal. “Again with Jody [as with Logan], Janie has money and respectability, but Jody's objectification - of her and his demand for her submission stifles any desire
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