Their Eye's Were Watching God- Janie's Self Realization

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Janie's Self-Realization: Facts and Disputes Janie, in Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, was a unique individual; as a half-white, half-black girl growing up in Florida in the early 1930's, a lifetime of trials and search for understanding was set for her from the start. As the main character she sought to finally find herself, true love, and have a meaningful life. Growing up, in itself, provides a perfect opportunity for finding that essential state of self-realization and ideal comfort. Michael G. Cooke reviews Their Eyes Were Watching God in his article "The Beginnings of Self-Realization"; within the article it is falsely criticized that every time Janie is negatively impacted she grows to become more…show more content…
"Jody told her to dress up and stand in the store all that evening" (Hurston 58). That must've been Jody Starks' most said command to Janie throughout her marriage. He only used her because she was so pretty, and didn't want much more. Being proud of Janie as his wife, the mayor's pretty wife, he himself built the image for Janie as 'trophy wife'. Becoming an image herself looking in the mirror was an obvious and physical change seen in the story. "'Ah ain't been sleepin' so good for more'n uh week cause Ah been wishin' so bad tuh git mah hands in yo' hair. It's so pretty'" (Hurston 124). Letting loose her hair and Tea Cake telling her how pretty she was marked a new beginning for her and a time for a new image. Seeing herself in a new way, the mirror and Tea Cake helped her realize that she is a beautiful woman and she can be much better if she tried. Mirrors are always used to analyze oneself to be pleased, or to be displeased so you can adjust. In Janie's case however, she was surprised to see herself again and approved of her new, yet not so new self. Representing many ideas and being that 'image' looked upon, it's clear to say that Janie indeed has been attached herself to images as well as becoming one herself. The imagery shown throughout the book was physically and figuratively there with the photograph, idea of a trophy wife, and the mirror. The development of the images throughout the story helped show Janie's progression. Being

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