Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay

1988 Words 8 Pages
Theyre Eyes Were Watching God

A Voice With Experience

In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, many critics have argued over whether or not the main character, Janie, finds her voice by the end of the novel. Yet many seem to be confused as to what her "voice" is. Her voice is her ability to express her thoughts and display her emotions verbally. Many relate the question of Janie’s voice to her amount of emotional strength (her ability to confront her problems or run away from the current situation rather than be isolated in it), yet these things are a completely different matter entirely. While Janie’s emotional strength varies throughout the novel, her voice is always there.

Her voice is proven
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‘Scuse mah freezolity, Mist’ Killicks, but Ah don’t mean to chop de first chip." (p.26) This shows that even at this point, Janie definitely had a voice. Janie’s emotional strength is also proven at this time. She is obviously unafraid of Logan and has no problem confronting him with her problems. She even confronts him about running away saying "S’pose’ Ah wuz to run off and leave yuh sometime…I might take and find somebody dat did trust me and leave yuh" (p.30). When Joe came along speaking of "change and chance", Janie acted quickly, running away with him and getting married that same day. This shows that Janie had the emotional strength to confront Logan and run away from his controlling and depraved ways.

Throughout Janie’s relationship with her next husband, Joe, she continued to keep her strong voice but showed weakness emotionally. Speaking of "change and chance", Janie was immediately attracted to Joe Starks. This is exactly what Janie wanted at the time: a change from her life with Logan and a second chance at life and love. But the change and chance that Joe was speaking of was very different than what Janie wanted or expected. He was not looking for love or a companion, but instead wanted to use Janie to promote his image as a leader for his new plans to start a black community. Janie soon realized this after it was too late. Her life with Joe was horrible. Joe rarely said a word to her or even looked at her

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