“Janie stood where he left her for unmeasured time and thought. She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her. Then she went inside there to see what it was. It was her image of Jody tumbled down and shattered. But looking at it she saw that it never was the flesh and blood figure of her dreams. Just some thing she had grabbed up to drape her dreams over. In a way she turned her back upon the image where it lay and looked further. She had no more blossomy openings dusting pollen over her man, neither any glistening young fruit where the petals used to be. She found that she had a host of thoughts she had never expressed to him, and numerous emotions she had never let Jody know about. Things packed up and put away in parts of
Janie and the Pear Tree in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston In Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, the image of a pear tree reverberates throughout the novel. The pear tree is not only a representation of Janie's life - blossoming, death, metamorphosis,
The film Their Eyes Were Watching God, based off of the novel by author Zora Neale Hurston, is a story of a young woman named Janie who spends the film narrating her life story to a friend. Janie’s story is one of self-exploration, empowerment, and the ability to express her freedoms both as a maturing woman and African American, throughout her life experiences. As she navigates through sexism and racism to find herself it becomes more evident that it will be more difficult than she initially thought to reach a point of happiness.
Zora Neale Hurston’s highly acclaimed novel Their Eyes Were Watching God demonstrates many of the writing techniques described in How to Read Literature like a Professor by Tomas C. Foster. In Foster’s book, he describes multiple reading and writing techniques that are often used in literature and allow the reader to better understand the deeper meaning of a text. These of which are very prevalent in Hurston’s novel. Her book follows the story of an African American woman named Janie as she grows in her search for love. Hurston is able to tell Janie’s great quest for love with the use of a vampiric character, detailed geography, and sexual symbolism; all of which are described in Foster’s book.
Everyone has a goal, a mission, a dream. Many dreams of people are far away and in many cases are perceived to be mysterious and merely out of reach. In the story Their Eyes were Watching God, this notion is expressed by the symbol of a horizon. The horizon is a faraway horizontal line between the earth and the sky; between human life and the beyond. This mid point between the possible and impossible is where dreams, wishes, and desires lay. The horizon symbolizes dreams that are seemingly out of reach. In the beginning of the story, this is the state of the dreams of Janie, her horizon. Through chapters 1-9, readers understand through the two failed marriages of Janie, that she dreams to love and be free. Janie wants to love another person
Hurston’s first use of imagery in the book is seen with the pear tree representing young love, something that doesn’t last forever. Janie is telling her friend, Pheoby, about her time spent around the blossoming pear tree as a young girl. Hurston uses imagery in this section with the blossoming pear tree to represent young love. While Janie is
Their Eyes are Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston deviates from the conventions of harlem renaissance by adding personality to the novel, utilizing factual accounts to tell the fictional events of a story, and compiling a story about suffrage rather than race.
In both the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and the poem “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid, young girls are lectured on who they should be in life and how they should act. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, a young teenager Janie is lectured by her
The pear tree in chapter two is heavily symbolic and shows Janie’s main goals in life. These dreams of a perfect life can be summarized as a bee to her blossom. Janie’s idea of marriage consists of true love with a heavy dose of sexuality with descriptions (and innuendos) like “dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of the bloom” as well as “the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch every blossom and frothing with delight” (11). The thought compares with a metaphor the natural way trees are pollenated with completion of oneself and sex. This shows her anticipation and even her naivety in preparation for marriage. This ideal is sought out by Janie her entire life and is only found much later. This dream is shattered instantly after Nanny tells Janie she will marry someone else as “the vision of Logan Killicks was desecrating the pear tree” that Janie so longed for (14). Janie remained hopeful with her marriage but it ultimately failed in satisfying her. Janie running off with Joe Starks was her attempt in starting over to achieve her dream of a bee to her blossom. The resulting marriage was also botched and resulted in Janie’s fantasy going dormant for twenty years. Resurrecting her lost vision of her life seemed futile until Jody died and Tea Cake showed up. Janie realized Tea Cake could “be a bee to her blossom- a pear tree blossom… he was a glance from God” and fulfill the gap in her life that has been void all these years with Logan and Joe (106).
In the book, the peach tree can be said to represent Jane’s identity as a woman and her budding sexuality. She compares her change to that of the pear tree blossoming. Like the tree, she could feel that she was now a grown woman and she was of age. The tree growing and blossoming represents how she transforms into a woman who wants to find and experience love as compared to the innocent girl she was earlier on. This can be seen on Page 10 where Hurston says, ‘It had called her to gaze on a mystery… from barren brown stems to glistening leaf-buds… to the snowy virginity of bloom’. As the tree blossoms, she becomes more interested in love and romance, and she even forms views towards these two affairs. Janie gets her first kiss under the pear tree, and the reader can now become aware of her maturing, and she is now a woman who is interested in kissing and romance. From the tree, she experiences sexual desires as seen here ‘…then Janie felt a remorseless pain
In the book “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” the main character Janie marries three different men, Logan Killicks, Joe Starks (Jody), and Vergible Woods (Teacake). She marries each of these men for different reasons. First, she marries Logan because her grandmother guilted her into marriage with him. In the book, on page 13, it says, “‘Brother Logan Killicks. He’s a good man too.’ ‘Nah, nanny, no ma’am…’” This is saying that Nanny wanted Janie to marry Logan, however Janie didn’t want to marry Logan. Secondly, Janie marries a man named Joe Starks, also known as Jody. She marries Jody because she doesn’t want to be married to Logan. In the book, on page 30, it says, “Janie debated the matter that night in bed.” In summary, this is saying that
The authors of the time did have a valid reasoning to believe that the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, was such an uninspiring novel. An artificial reading of the novel shows the reader a few small points that came make people mad. Janie the main character lives a sheltered life. Her grandmother, an ex-slave, shelters her from such a world, and she is brought up in a rich environment. All the black people that she do see are fairly well-off. She marries her first husband, Logan, who is not financially stable and she has to do labor, so she leaves him. Her next husband, Jody brings her to an all black city, Eatonville. The city mirrors that of a white city. Jody makes all the rules in the town and soon it becomes prosperous and grows while Jody makes a lot of money. She is unhappy in this rich white society. Thus when Jody dies, she goes off into the Everglades with Tea Cake and works in the fields
Educator and literary critic, Keiko Dilbeck claims in her article ‘Symbolic Representation of Identity in Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God’ (2015), that Zora Neale Hurston used objects and characters as symbols for identity and qualities of good relationships. She does this first by, citing the example of the Pear Tree symbolizing youth, then by listing Janie’s three husbands and the qualities the represent, then by discussing the all important symbol of the hair. Dilbeck’s purpose in writing this article was to discuss the many symbols in the text in order to enhance reader’s understanding of the novel's themes and symbols. The author creates a reflective tone by discussing the novel's purpose and it’s relationship to Black Woman during
The metaphor of the horizon and the sun follow Janie’s exploration of herself and her search for true love. In the novel, Janie swiftly moves through three marriages, but only finds love in her final marriage to Tea Cake. When Janie is first talking to Jody she is hesitant because “he did not represent sun-up and pollen and blooming trees" (29). Nature, especially pollen and bloom time, has come to represent love in this novel while the sun represents happiness and cheeriness and that is what Janie is looking for in a relationship. Jody is not a super positive and bubbly guy but he “spoke for far horizon" (29). He spoke about the possibilities that could be if they were together. Possibilities that Janie was hoping would give her a chance to find out
In the excerpt from their eyes were watching god, there is a group of people who become one entity without individual identities. Once a leader in a group is established, that leader often becomes the personality of the group. If you are outside of the group or the group doesn’t know something about you, they will attack you violently and mercilessly. All too often it happens. The same thing happened to Janie. She was outside of the group, and they didn’t know much about her anymore, so they attacked her verbally.