Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Their Eyes Were Watching God
Growth and development are affected by many outside influences such as heredity and environment. Heredity influences are beyond one's control, but environmental ones seem to have the greatest impact on a person's development. Throughout our lives the people we come in contact with will, in one way or another, influence who we become. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston Janie develops as a woman through her three marriages. In the course of each of those marriages she learns valuable lessons and experiences progressively healthier relationships. Janie's marriages to Logan Killicks, Jody Starks, and Tea Cake are the key influences in her journey toward womanhood. Janie's marriage to Logan Killicks is the first stop on that journey. She hoped that her forced marriage with Logan would end her loneliness and desire for love. Right from the beginning, the loneliness shows up when Janie describes his house as a "lonesome place like a stump in the middle of the woods where nobody had ever been". This description of Logan's house is symbolic of the relationship they have. She learned that marriage did not necessarily mean love. Her next husband, Jody Starks, seems like the man who will fill the emptiness and loneliness she felt with Logan. When they first meet, Jody bestows compliments on Janie, convincing her of her special qualities. Janie believed that Jody "spoke for change and chance". The problem Janie found with Jody dealt with him treating her as a possession not as an equal. He felt the wife of the mayor should act in a certain way and be a submissive. Janie became conscious of the problem early in the relationship and attempted to confront Jody about it, but to no avail, she is stifled. Janie realizes that she cannot be open with Jody and he is not the same man she left Logan Killicks to marry. Jody had his best interests in mind, and none of them pertain to Janie. He felt a woman had...
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