Response Paper, Their Eye Were Watching God

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To: Their Eyes Were Watching God

Zora Neale Hurston's, Their Eyes Were Watching God is the story of repression and possession by men over women in black Southern communities. Black men in the South seemed to regard women as property. They were the masters of the household and women were portrayed as the slaves in the relationship, quite ironic considering the history of slavery during that time. Their Eyes Were Watching God is Janie's story of awakening from this oppression into her own self-awareness and personal identity. Janie's path to awakening must take her through the wasteland of being a possession before she can enter the pear tree garden of her self-actualized dreams of love.

My first impression of Janie and her lust for love began with a personal realization, a realization that embodied not only a woman perspective when it comes to looking for a man, but also in what I am personally looking for in a significant other. I initially noticed two types of views, one of Nanny and the other of Janie, a portrait of two women. For Nanny, relationships are a matter of pragmatism, or in other words common sense: Logan Killicks makes a good husband because he is well-off, honest, and hard-working. In a harsh world, he offers shelter and physical security. It makes sense that a former slave like Nanny would have such a perspective. Her life has been one of poverty and hardship, with any hope of material advancement eliminated by the color of her skin. Logan Killicks, being a successful farmer who owns his own land, represents an ideal that Nanny could only dream of when she was Janie’s age. Janie, on the other hand is searching for a deeper kind of fulfillment, one that offers both physical passion and emotional connection. Personally, I would love nothing more than to find a woman that yearns for intellectual substance and dreams for something far greater than just financial security in a relationship. A woman that is...