Their Eyes Were Watching God Analysis : Janie's Journey Through Marriage

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Analysis: Janie’s Husbands & Marriages
Part I:
In the book “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, the main character, Janie Mae Crawford, explains her life story in a flashback to her best friend, Pheoby Watson. Throughout her flashback, she experiences life and marriage with three different men named Logan Killicks, Joe Starks, and Vergible Woods. These three marriages were all different in their own ways, but they all aid in Janie’s maturity and illustrate her quest for independence.

In Janie’s marriage with Logan, Janie came to a couple of realizations and she learned the goals she wanted to achieve out of life. In her first marriage, the man she was with was everything that Nanny Crawford wanted him to be. Logan Killicks was a farmer with 60 acres of his own land, his own money, and big house all to himself. Logan Killicks equaled protection to Nanny [Page 15], and that’s all that she wanted for Janie. Since Nanny had endured being raped as a slave and getting pregnant, and the baby that became Janie’s Mom, Leafy, turned out to get raped to and become lost to the world, Nanny wanted nothing but the best for Janie. She did not want Janie to have to endure those things, and she was going to make sure by setting Janie up to marry Logan Killicks.

Logan had been watching Janie grow up, and he noticed how beautiful she was becoming so he mentioned marrying Janie to Nanny long before she brought it up to Janie [Page 13]. Janie was just what Logan needed. She was young, pretty, and she would do well inheriting his land after he died. Although Janie was marrying Logan for protection, Logan was marrying Janie from her looks, making her out to be a trophy wife. But the key that both Logan and Janie were missing in the thought of their marriage was love. Janie was not even interested in Logan at all. He was just as old as her Grandma, since Nanny Crawford refers to him as “Brother Logan Killicks” [Page 13]. Janie felt that the reason why people married was because they loved one another, but since her marriage happened because of other circumstances, she thought the love would eventually come [Page 21].

After they finally married, of course Janie was introduced to intercourse for the first time, making her sexually mature. That is her first walk into womanhood. But she also came to the realization that marriage does not bring love after a month and two weeks of marriage [Page 23]. This shows her maturity of how relationships work, while also marking her second walk into womanhood. After this conclusion, almost a year into her marriage she came to a greater realization. Janie wanted her pear tree, which symbolized everything that love should be [Page 11]. Logan was not her pear tree. After almost a year, the newly wed attitude died down and he began treating Janie as his equal, expecting her to do work around the farm just like he did [Page 26]. Their relationship began to be like that between a parent and a child. He told her what to do and she was expected to do it. It also did not help that Logan was so much older than Janie; it reestablishes this parent and child bond. After Logan began acting this way, Janie did not stay long. She met Joe Starks, her second husband, on the road beside her and Logan’s home one summer day, and he seemed to fulfill the goals Janie had in mind for her life. Once she saw it fit, Janie left Logan, and ran away to marry Joe. Logan was the only man Janie ever left.

Mr. Joe Starks was a business man and the epitome of a go getter. He met Janie on the side of a road because he was on his way walking to be a “big voice” in a black-owned town called Eatonville in Florida [Page 28]. He was a “man wid principles” [Page 29] and he wanted to show Janie how a lady should be treated. He was older than Janie like Logan, being 10 years her senior. Janie and Joe Starks' marriage can be described as all for show, deeply suppressing, and all about Joe Starks. From the moment Joe met Janie, he described her...
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