The Great Gatsby, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Grapes of Wrath

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Society expects people to fall in love. That is, society expects people to find a life partner, get married, and have children. Those who do not follow the pattern are generally seen as hermits who sit in their houses with multiple forms of pets to keep them company. This burden life throws at human beings growing up, turns into a moral value. People want to find someone that makes them so happy that their heart hurts when they’re not with them. This would be the case if one does actually fall in love. Love can be a wonderful thing. However, sometimes it can be a devastatingly evil form of torture. Even though it is expected to make one feel content and comforted, love can make anyone feel more alone than ever before. Love is presumed to be a step in life. The expectation society applies to it leads to alienation of characters in the summer reading of The Great Gatsby, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and The Grapes of Wrath. For some characters, love is a moral value right from the start. Zora Neale Hurston introduces us to Janie in her book, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Janie is a young, vibrant African American living with her grandmother. She marks the beginning of her need to feel loved and wanted early on in chapter 2 as she gazes upon a pear tree. “She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was a marriage! She had been summoned to behold a revelation. Then Janie felt a pain remorseless sweet that left her limp and languid.” (Hurston 11). Janie wants to feel the way the bee does when pollinating the flowers on the pear tree. The alienation process begins...
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