’s Were Watching God Essay, Research Paper
The novel Their Eyes Were Watching God written by Zora Neale Hurston dealswith a character named Janie and how she goes through life trying to find true love. InHurston s story Janie has returned to the town which she, and her second husband helpedestablishd. One evening when Janie came home, her friend Pheoby begins to talk to herabout how the ladies gossip about her. Janie soon begins a discussion about her life storywith Pheoby. Janie goes on to describe her childhood and how she was forced to love at ayoung age. Janie realizes she was not happy with her first husband and leaves him foranother man. Joe Starks had lured Janie to believe she would live happily ever after withhim, but Janie in time felt trapped within her marriage. Joe had died and Janie wasconfronted with numerous amounts of men telling her they would treat her like a princess,but Janie wasn t so vulnerable anymore. Then one day she meets a man named Tea Cake,he would be the one to fulfill the emptiness she has lived with her whole life. WithinTheir Eyes Were Watching God, Janie a middle aged woman is enticed to believethroughout her life that true love is the only path to absolute happiness. Janie married at an early age of seventeen because her grandmother was afraid thatshe wouldn t have a descent man to love, and care for her. In the novel while Janie istelling her story, she realizes something about her childhood: She thought awhile anddecided that her conscious life had commenced at Nanny s gate, (Hurston 10). Janie sfirst kiss was at her grandmother s gate, and when Nanny caught her kissing the boy sherealized Janie wasn t a little girl anymore. Nanny instinctively decided it was time forJanie to get married, even though Janie disagreed. Janie soon took on the fact she wasgoing to be married to Logan Killicks, who her grandmother told her she would marry. Janie was trying to prove to herself that she would love Logan after they were married,but she couldn t see any way for it to come about. Nanny had told Janie something,giving her hope that she could love Logan: Husband and wives always loved each other,and that was what marriage meant, (20). That had given Janie hope to love Logan, soshe was satisfied. After their marriage Janie had tried to love Logan but couldn t, shetried to explain the situation to Nanny: Ah wants things sweet wid mah marriage lakwhen you sit under a pear tree and think, (23). Janie doesn t want a marriage in whichshe can t love her husband, but Nanny doesn t realize it even though Janie says it right toher face. Janie s marriage with Logan was never really excepted into her heart, it was forcedupon her by her grandmother. Janie s marriage with Logan seemed flawless, Logan wasalways doing the majority of the work around their house. Then one day Logan hadstarted asking Janie to help out more around their house. Logan had specifically asked herto help plow the fields, and without Janie ever agreeing he went into town for a few daysto buy her a mule. While Logan was gone a new man had entered Janie s life, a mannamed Joe Starks. Joe was trying to take Janie away from Logan every chance he had,and was doing a good job at it: You ain t never knowed what it was to be treated like alady and Ah wants to be de one tuh show yuh, (28). Janie was being seduced by Joeinto believing she would live a happy life with him, if she would leave Logan. EventuallyJanie realized she would be happier with Joe, so when Janie got the chance she left Loganand got married to Joe: From now on until death she was going to have flower dust and
springtime sprinkled over everything, (31). This passage illustrates the point that Janiefeels exuberant about her new found love. After twenty years of a marriage that wassupposed to be wonderful Janie has lived just the opposite. Janie was to believe that amarriage between two people was supposed to be unconditional love, and Janie did notfeel that way: Tuh think Ah been wid Jody twenty yeahs and Ah just now got tuh bearde name uh poisonin him, (78). Janie can no longer stand being married with Joe, butit soon would not matter because Joe would die later on. In Janie s discussion with herfriend Pheoby she was bringing to the fact that Joe had not brought her true happinesswithin thier marriage. After Joe s death and nine months later Janie finds a new love, but the differencethis time is that she finally finds her true love. Pheoby is worried about Janie and her newfound love Tea Cake, so she tries to talk to Janie. Janie realizes Pheoby s concern butthen tries to explain her feelings: Dis is uh love game. Ah done lived Grandma s way,now Ah means tuh live mine, (108). Janie was saying that she went and married a manthat had the money to take care of her, but when she got there she felt trapped. So nowshe wants to live her way, which is to marry someone she can truly love no matter whatmaterials he has or doesn t have. Janie and Tea cake were finally married, but one dayTea Cake disappeared and Janie had no clue were he was and started praying: MaybeAh m is uh fool, Lawd, lak dey say, but Lawd, Ah been so lonesome, and Ah been waitin ,Jesus. Ah done waited uh long time, (115). Janie realizes that she has finally found theone man that has truly made her happy, but is worried he left her. Eventually he comesback the next day and they live happily on, until one day. During their run from thehurricane Tea Cake was bit by a rabid dog, and Tea Cake was now turning rabid himself. One night Tea Cake started going crazy and started to shoot at Janie, and so she in self-defense shot him, and he died on her lap: Janie held his head tightly to her breast andwept and thanked him wordlessly for giving her the chance for loving service, (175). Janie had loved Tea Cake like no other man she had been with, and he truly made herhappy. Janie then finished her life story and told Pheoby that it was all right to tell thegossiping lady s all about it. Janie had her own comment about the lady s, knowing theywould question her love towards her husbands: Dey gointuh make miration cause mahlove didn t work lak they love, if dey ever had any, (182). Janie finally reached truehappiness though her love with Tea Cake, and now she wanted everyone to know she wasonce truly happy. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston portrays Janie as a woman who waslured to believe pure happiness came from true love. In the beginning Janie s grandmotherwanted her to love for security, but that didn t cut it for Janie. Then when she met JoeStarks she thought she would live the high life as well as being happy, but that didn t workeither. Joe seemed to portray Janie as just a mayor s wife, and an employee at the townstore. Then Janie met Tea Cake. Tea Cake didn t live the high life but he treated herright, and that s why Janie loved him so much. Constantly throughout their marriage andbefore they were always indicating that they loved each other so much, and they couldn tbe happier with anyone else. Janie had been with other men in hope to reach her supremehappiness, but none compared with Tea Cake who gave her his unconditional love till theday he died.