Circular Fulfillment Essay Research Paper Circular FulfillmentTS

Circular Fulfillment Essay, Research Paper

Circular Fulfillment

T.S. Elliot writes: ?what we call a beginning is often the end/ And to make an end

is to make a beginning./ The end is where we start from.? In order to begin self

realization a person must first conquer a hindrance in their path. This idea is used to

portray the nature of Janie?s ?exploration? in There Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora

Neale Hurston. Through the use of style, setting, and symbolism, the reader can interpret

that the beginning of one?s self-fulfillment comes from successfully overcoming one?s


Throughout the novel Hurston utilizes the horizon as a symbol representing

Janie?s dreams in order to reveal the realizations she comes to which enable her to start

her self fulfillment. At one point while she is married to Logan Killicks, Janie realizes

something about her marriage to Logan Killicks; ?She knew that God tore down the old

world every evening and built a new one by sun-up. It was wonderful to see it take form

with the sun and emerge from the gray dust of its making. She knew now that marriage

did not make love. Janie?s first dream was dead, so she became a woman.?(25) Janie had

expected marriage to grow into love, but her dream did not come to be. Hurston

compares Janie?s unfulfilled dream to how the sun rises above the horizon every morning

to a new day- the sun shedding light on the her dream (or horizon). The purpose of this

being to expose the importance of revelation of discovering her dreams and achieving

them. Without the failure of her marriage to Logan Killicks, Janie would not have know

what to search for in her life. After Janie leaves with Jodie to escape her marriage to

Logan Killicks, she recognizes a familiarity about her new marriage, ?They sat on the

boarding house porch and saw the sun plunge into the same crack in the earth from which

the night emerged.?(33) From the experience she has gained in her first marriage, Janie

knows that she does not want another like Logan Killicks?, but at the same time she

knows she is watching the same pattern emerge in her new relationship with Jodie Starks.

Janie is slowly coming to an understanding about herself and what her dreams are. She

molds her dream according to her experiences. At the conclusion of Janie?s marriage to

Jodie and his death, as well as the beginning of the ?Tea Cake Era?, Janie has another

revelation about her dream and her horizon, ?He tipped his hat at the door and was off

with the briefest good night. So she sat on the porch and watched the moon rise. Soon its

amber fluid was drenching the earth, and quenching the thirst of the day.?(99) Janie now

knows what she is looking for in a marriage. This time, Hurston uses the moon instead of

the sun (with Tea Cake representing the moon and Jodie representing the sun). Jodie has

?set? and Tea Cake has now ?risen? to stand in his place. Hurston was able to effectively

portray the idea of Janie?s ?learning experiences?, or marriages affecting her dreams

through the use of the horizon as symbol for her unachieved goals.

The reader can have an understanding of where Janie began and ended her

accomplishment through the ?framing? style. Zora Neale Hurston begins her novel at the

end of the story, where Janie is assembling her experience to Phoeby, ?It?s hard for me to

understand what you [Janie] mean, de way you tell it. And then again Ah?m hard of

understandin? at times.?/ ?Naw, ?taint nothin? lak you [Phoeby] might think. So ?taint no

use in me [Janie] telling you somethin? unless Ah give you de understandin? to go ?long

wid it.?(7) Hurston uses the framing style to give the novel better effect in getting theme

across. She starts her novel at the end when Janie has returned from the Everglades,

setting up the story line of Janie returning with insight, only obtained at the end, to share

with Pheoby. Hurston has Janie begin the story of her life as a flashback at the end of her

life?s journey, ??Ah know exactly what Ah got to tell yuh, but it?s hard to know where to

start at. Ah ain?t never seen mah papa…Mah Grandma raised me.??(8) Hurston has Janie

begin a story within a story. The style Hurston uses helps mold the theme into place. The

reader is being told right along with Pheoby (about Janie?s life) and therefore can

understand the plot more easily. When Janie concludes her story, the reader has a better

understanding of Janie, life?s dreams, and Pheoby as she responds; ?Ah done growed ten

feet higher jus? listenin? tuh you, Janie. Ah ain?t satisfied wid mahself no mo?.?(192) At

the conclusion of Janie?s narrative, the beginning of the novel is again brought in play as

we are transported back to the present. Through the framing style of Zora Neale Hurston,

Janie has come to her self-realization at the end of her life and her story, hence proving

that the theme holds strong with the presence Hurston?s writing style.

Hurston uses the setting to bring further insight to the reader as we are transported

from Eatonville to the Everglades, back to Eatonville in order to provide Janie the chance

to live and grow. Janie begins her life in Eatonville with Jodie Starks ?It was early in the

afternoon when they got there… ?It is a whole heap littler than Ah thought.? Janie

admitted.?(34) Janie begins her life in Eatonville – the first part of her life without her

Grandmother and where she chooses to do things. She hasn?t seen much of the world;

only little towns around Eatonville; and so she begins her journey. In the middle of

Janie?s story, she explains how she left after Jodie?s death to live with Tea Cake in the

Everglades. ?To Janie?s eyes, everything in the Everglades was big and new.?(129) Janie

needed to get away from Eatonville in order to have new experiences and meet different

people, which are necessities of Janie discovering her self and eventually obtaining

self-fulfillment. If she had stayed in Eatonville, she would have remained the same,

bored, lifeless Janie. When Janie returns to Eatonville she is a changed woman, ready to

begin her self realization. ? Now, dat?s how everything wuz, Pheoby, jus? lak Ah told

yuh. So Ah?m back home agin and Ah?m satisfied tuh be heah.?(191) Janie has finished

her story and conquered her query, and she is now ready to begin life with her self

attainment as she lives the rest of her life out in the peaceful setting of Eatonville.

Hurston?s use of the repetitive setting proved valuable in the perception of Janie?s

accomplishment found only with a cycle of locations.

In Zora Neale Hurston?s novel, There Eyes Were Watching God, the theme is that

the beginning of self fulfillment is, in fact, the vanquishment of one?s adversities.

Hurston proves this theme throughout her novel by the employment of style, setting, and

symbolism. Without dealing with obstacles one cannot understand the accomplishment

that ensues them, and therefore would not be able to begin the pursuit of happiness or self

attribution until the end of her quandary; hence further validating T.S. Elliot?s quote as

well as Hurston?s theme.


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