Their Eyes Were Watching God Critical Essay

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In 1937, Zora Neale Hurston, author of Their Eyes Were Watching God writes about an African American woman named Janie Crawford who is in search of her inner self. While maturing, she develops more sexual desires which led to her three marriages. In The Kiss of Memory, Tracy L. Bealer talks about how love can be so many things and can be a struggle for Janie from her three very different marriages. Developing sexual desires made Nanny realize that a new life should be put ahead of Janie. Nanny then forces Janie into her first marriage with a man named Logan Killicks. “Nanny chooses Logan because she feels marriage to a rich man will shield Janie from both sexual availability and thankless labor.” (Bealer) But Janie thinks different, while she is with Logan, she doesn’t feel loved or comfortable with him. Always having the responsibility to farm and work, she just felt used. After meeting Joe Starks one day, she finds herself thinking that "he spoke for change and chance” (28). She thinks that being with Joe will get her out of her unhealthy marriage with Logan, and so she left. Having the mayor of Eatonville being her husband, she feels as if she is on top of the world. But all that changes over time when he gets abusive verbally and physically which made her feel as if she’s an object rather than a person. This all led to the end of her second marriage.

After her two marriages had failed, she met Tea Cake who made her feel special and happy again. He’s supportive and respectful of Janie’s beliefs unlike Killicks and Starks. "Naw, it ain't alright wid you. If it was you wouldn't be sayin' dat. Have de nerve tuh say whut you mean" (104). He wants to show her how to speak her mind and be happy and not afraid to say what she wants to say. Although she has had some fights with Tea Cake, she finds someone whom she trusts and loves. In the end, “Tea Cake's rabies-included madness and the fact that Janie shoots her husband in self-defense” (Bealer) is the end of their...
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