Critical Analysis: Their Eyes Were Watching God

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In this love story written by Zora Neale Hurston, we find out that the main character, Janie saw her life as a great tree filled with many trials and tribulations. “Their eyes were watching God” was written from a woman’s point of view to tell the story of a woman desperately searching for true love and fulfilment. Janie Crawford grew up with her grandmother who forced her to marry at the age of seventeen to ensure a better life for herself. Logan Killicks was an established potato farmer and he was more than twice Janie’s age. He used her for slavery but Janie refused to accept this lifestyle. One day she met a tall handsome man name Joe Starks and ran off with him to Florida. There he established and became the mayor of a small town called Eatonville. This relationship was one of possession and power and Janie was denied any interaction with others in the town. Janie was his trophy wife; she was only allowed to work in their store until Joe became sick and died. Janie then met and fell in love with a young man called Tea Cake. He loved her and took her on picnics, hunting, fishing and dancing. Both, Tea Cake and Janie worked together on the “muck”, on a field picking crops. On a tragic trip to the Everglades, a hurricane came and Tea Cake was bitten by a wild dog while trying to save Janie and contracted rabies. In his last few months, Tea Cake began to lose his mind and tried to kill Janie so she was forced to take his life. No one could replace Tea Cake, so after his death Janie returned to Eatonville to work in her store. When she returned, people assumed that Tea Cake had run off with her money, but Janie did not care because finally she had experienced true love.

The purpose of this book is to tell the story of a woman’s search for true love. In her pursuit of love, she experienced relationships based on confinement and possession, persons who only saw her as a slave and a trophy wife. All Janie ever wanted was someone to love and appreciate her as...
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