Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Janie Crawford: The Woman Whose Clothing Conveys Her Relationships In Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, the protagonist, Janie, endures two marriages before finding true love. In each of Janie’s marriages, a particular article of clothing is used to symbolically reflect, not only her attitude at different phases in her life, but how she is treated in each relationship. In Janie’s first marriage with Logan Killicks, an apron is used to symbolize the obligation in her marriage. “ Ah’ll cut de p’taters fuh yuh… When Janie had finished indoors she sat down in the barn with the potatoes ” (27). The apron represents Janie 's role in the marriage as a farm-hand, which is not similar to the beloved role that Janie yearns for in marriage. Janie envisions her marriage as a bond between a couple that is not affected by gender roles but by love, but the apron suggests that her purpose in marriage is to abide by Killicks’ rule. Furthermore, Janie decides to find more in her life, specifically love, and leaves Logan for Joe Starks; Janie expresses her freedom by tossing her apron away. The narrator states, “ That made her feel the apron tied around her waist. She untied it and flung it on a low bush beside the road and walked on…” (32). The apron’s removal reflects Janie’s way of displaying that she is breaking away the bonds of her marriage with Killicks, and the emotional restrictions she suffered. The emotional restrictions that Janie experiences are due to her lack

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