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Women In Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

Decent Essays
Women have lived as inferior beings to men throughout most of history and, consequently, have always had to fight for equal treatment in the world. Whether it was through art, literature, or protest, women have stood up against the oppression and patriarchy they had been subjected to. In Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, the main character Janie has had to fight for a voice in her own right. After being silenced during her first two marriages, Janie had to wait several years before being treated as a normal human being. Janie’s three marriages represent three different stages in her life, the end of each being more liberating than the previous. By the end of the novel and the end of her life, Janie proves that women do not need to live in the shadow of any man, no matter how controlling or superior he may believe he is. Throughout the beginning of her life, Janie lived with her grandmother, Nanny, whom she adopted many values and beliefs from. Nanny taught her that, as a black woman, she should look for a marriage that would bring her status and wealth rather than emotional security and happiness. This led to her being married off in her teen years to an old farmhand named Logan Killicks. Although Logan is accommodating at the beginning of the marriage, he grows sick of her always acting as a housewife and begins to treat her as a mule in the fields instead. “‘Janie… come help me move this manure pile… you ain’t got no particular place. It’s wherever
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