Their Eyes Were Watching God

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  • Topic: Power, Power in international relations, Verbal abuse
  • Pages : 2 (677 words )
  • Download(s) : 2338
  • Published : January 3, 2012
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Hannah Ricci
11.28.11
p.1
Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay
2. In her marriage to Jody, Janie is dominated by his power. At several points, however, it is obvious that he feels threatened by her. Why does Jody need to be in control of everyone around him? How does Janie threaten Jody and his sense of control?

Power and dominance are both main themes in the book Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Jody is the embodiment of both of these things. He exerts his power over the town and over Janie in ways that are political, financial and physical. While Janie tends to be submissive, Jody is threatened by the power that Janie holds in her own way, and with this, Jody’s own power begins to deteriorate.

Undoubtedly, Jody's amount of power significantly permeates all aspects of the townspeople, Eatonville, and Janie's life. Jody puts much care and attention into people's opinions of him. On one occasion, Jody buys Matt Bonner's overworked mule and sets it free. The townspeople relate him to Abraham Lincoln and the emancipation of slaves. When Jody refused to allow Janie attend the mule’s funeral, Jody prioritizes issues of polite behavior over Janie’s happiness. He would rather keep her appearance in the town as a perfect lady instead of submitting to her wishes. Jody's well calculated act of "humility" accelerates his political power. Jody only feels happy and secure when he's in control of everything around him. While working in the town store, Janie is forced to keep her hair tucked away and covered. Although she despises doing it, she complies with Jody's wishes and he continues to feel a sense of control over Janie.

Just in the same way, Janie staying quiet at critical times in her marriage with Jody further reinforces his dominance over her. He blames her for her incontinence with handling money and forces her to stay in the store and wait on ladies when she'd rather be outside. Both times she chooses to keep her mouth closed, furthering her resentment...
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