Their Eyes Were Watching God

2865 Words12 Pages
Women and Power
"De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see."
--Nanny, Their Eyes Were Watching God 14
This quote establishes the novel's unusual perspective on gender difference. It's the story of a woman's struggle with power. During this time, African American women were looked upon as the mules of the world, because the men were considered the "Gods." Society believed that since they were the men of their households, whatever they said was the way it went. The novel set the tone for different novels during the Harlem Renaissance. It was the first major novel published by an African American woman, so it was often classified as a feminist novel. Feminism is often associated with the idea that men and women are
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He believes that he can control Janie by telling her how to behave. Janie continues to allow the abuse for some time. Eventually, Janie realizes that she has the control and power to end the marriage. She decides to run off with Joe Starks. When she leaves him, it shows that she possess some control over Logan.
Janie begins another relationship for all the wrong reasons. Joe Starks is an ambitious, smooth-talking man. He gains control early because he knows that Janie has just left a relationship and is vulnerable. (Bolden) In the beginning, Joe tells Janie all the things that Logan never did. One day he complimented her by saying, "A pretty doll- baby lak you is made to sit on de front porch and rock and fan yo self and eat p'taters dat

Fountain 5 other folks plant just special for you." (Hurston 29) Janie appreciates these complements because she was never told that she was pretty by any of her husbands. Joe opens a store and demands Janie to run it. She's not allowed to converse with the customers, because they're "trashy people." One may believe that Janie never responded because she was being an obedient wife, while others believe that she was a weak woman. Joe is more controlling that Logan was. When Joe proclaims himself mayor, he restricts Janie from making a speech. He responded by saying, " Thank yuh fuh yo compliments, but mah wife don't know nothin' bout no speech makin.' Ah never married her for

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