Their eyes were watching god research paper

It is after a while that she meets Jody, who convinces her that there is more to her life than living within the confines and holding on to her role as a mule. It is from their conversation, that Janie is enlightened on how foolish it is for them to be silenced. As the story commences we see that Jody asking Janie if she would run away with him Hurston 98 This in some way is asking her to stand up for her self and voice her own mind and choices.

Haurykiewicz mentions that it is this act, that Jody takes to help Janie be free, that eventually starts her on the path towards acquiring her persona voice.

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The voice she is in search for is also symbolic of her autonomy as a woman. As the novel continues to unfold, the theme of silence or the mule imagery, which is used within the Their Eyes Were Watching God , is not as ubiquitous. Janie is successful in her journey from being the mule to Muliebrity. This success made it such that she was capable of voicing out her emotions and her ideas, something that was impossible to do before.

However, there are some instances where she still is restricted.

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Her opinions and feelings can only be voiced to a certain degree and not to its entirety Hurston The author, Hurston ultimately uses the mule as a way of helping the readers to understand the inhumane treatment that society places of the woman, and especially those of African American descent. The author also uses Janie as a symbol that hardships can indeed be overcome. The author delves deeper to show the different problems that are faced by women, who are unable to achieve their voice within the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God.

She uses different techniques in order to illustrate different inferiority levels Hurston All the men that Janie is with have voices of their own. It is observed that when as her voice continues to develop, there is a noted improvement in her relationships. Although there are several attempts for Janie to voice her emotions and opinions, there is still silence as this personal voice is yet to be recognized and acknowledged.

However, even though her voice is hardly recognized in the beginning, growth in the same is observed. The grow stems from her constant questioning and from her lack of voice, which in turn signifies having absolute power over her life. This is evidenced when she publicly humiliates Jody with a statement that she makes. Having developed a strong self-sense, she is now able to control whom she has a relationship with. She starts a relationship with a man known as Tea Cake Hurston Their relationship is fine until he becomes mentally unstable and attempts to cause her harm.

In her defense, she kills him. This assertion of control is proof enough of the voice she now has. She is aware that she can survive independently and is therefore not afraid of living without a man. Hurston brings out the fact that the voice that Janine uses is effective, and that is why she is able to acquit herself from the charges and is released. Voice is also present, when Janie decides to share the story with Pheoby. The reason that she chooses to share with Pheoby and not any other person, is that she wants someone that will listen to her. Does he want the same destiny to her wife?

Or, can it be that Jody wants to prove that even after the death, he can control the situation? This death changes Janie in some way. Now, she is more or less ready to leave Jody and continue her searching of freedom and happiness.

It was yellow. Yellow is referred to light-skinned African Americans, just like Janie Crawford is. Is it a coincidence or one more technique used by the author?

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Maybe, it is one more attempt to underline unbelievable resemblance of status of an African American woman and a working mule. Of course, the way Hurston chooses to describe the status of working black women was a bit offensive. To represent the terrible attitude of whites to black workers, the writer picks out mules. These animals have to obey their masters. They have nothing to do but work all the time. The major character of the novel, Janie Crawford, should follow the same way. She wants to find true love and become free.

Unfortunately, her way is not that easy.

Free Research Papers on Literature: Their Eyes Were Watching God

Too many obstacles are on her way. At the end of the story, Janie kills her true love. She has to do it in order to save her own life. Such a decision is one of the brightest evidences of her strengths and her only desire to survive and be free. Zora Huston created the novel during the times of the Great Depression.

These were the times when African American female writers were rather rare. Because of serious critiques and discontents of either whites or blacks, lots of her works were overlooked and even not published. Zora Hurston described Janie as strong and courageous woman who never stopped her searching for independence and happiness. It was unusual for those times.


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The great majority of African American women could not demonstrate their characters and represent their own ideas. It was a risky step, and the writer was not afraid to take it. Her attempt may be justified as the book is really great and all the techniques are appropriately used. Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. While avoiding social prejudice, Zora seamlessly integrates her own racial-discovery into her novel.

The reader does not feel that she is projecting social prejudices or personal attacks; but rather imparts a tender, gentle revelation to Janie that she is Black. Janie is raised with white children in the home of the family her Grandmother works for. She grows up playing, laughing, and enjoying the things that the white children do, so much so, that she is included in a family portrait.

She had not realized till that moment, she was not white. To further the story-line, Hurston takes Janie on a journey of self-discovery with a slightly feminist twist. She is taught to be submissive. She is taught to have no opinion and no initiative. However, she learns over time, she has the growing feeling that something is missing, possibly her lack of self-confidence. She soon becomes her own person, casting her given lot aside, and seeking a new one on her own path, discovering her dreams and her identify.

In this novel, Hurston expresses many of her opinions on race relations.

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She is often criticized for her lack of confrontational forces in Their Eyes…, however she explained that she has clearly defined her position on race relations in her books. She has done it in a way that no group can actually ground a claim that her work is catered to any one audience. Hurston was often criticized for her writings.

She was quick to reply: I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all.

uptrackantito.tk I do not belong to the sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal and whose feeling are all hurt about it…. No, I do not weep at the world- I am to busy sharpening my oyster knife Discovering Authors, 4. Hurston showed her true opinions on race relations in her autobiography Dust Tracks on the Road when she declared black artists should celebrate the positive aspects of black American Negrohood. Janie is raised by her grandmother. Grandmother sets Janie up for her journey of self-discovery. Janie loved her grandmother and wanted to please her even though she was not sure she agreed with all of the plans her grandmother had made.

Her grandmother accomplishes this by arranging for Janie to marry Logan Killicks. Logan Killicks is a farmer who marries Janie shortly after she completes school.


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Killicks is the first antagonist that Janie encounters in the story. Janie does not love Logan nor does he love her. Janie is constantly looking for another horizon. She soon finds that horizon in Joe Starks. Janie leaves Logan the next day, and therefor takes another step in her journey. Joe is a man who is concerned with little except power. He wants it, and he is going to use Janie to get it. He is cruel to Janie, and stomps out all of her free will. He builds his town of Eatonville as the newly elected mayor, crushing all in his path, making many enemies, including Janie, along the way.

He comes to her aid. He wants her to do the things she desires. He takes Janie to the Everglades. He lets her tell stories.