Life is made of experiences. It can give one wisdom, knowledge, and even new goals. Similar to Janie, in Zora Neal Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, the loss of her husband, Joe, opens her life to discover new desires, rather than material things. Janie’s reaction to her husband’s loss, confidently expresses the changes that occurred within her. Symbolism, point of view, and imagery illustrate Janie’s internal change.
Janie’s loss of her husband was a gateway for new opportunities, and seems like another spring time moment. For example, Janie realizes she hates her grandmother for chasing after things instead of people. We see in chapter nine it tells “[Janie] had been whipped like a cur dog, and run off down a back road after things.” (Hurston 89). Janie’s opportunity to search people among the “horizon” could be her desire to meet new people, and discover true love. Joe’s death gave Janie another opportunity, freedom. Images help emphasize Janie’s experience with freedom. For example, in the beginning of chapter nine, Janie burns up every single one of her head rags (Hurston 89). We also notice after Joe’s death she immediately lets down her hair and tears off the kerchief. The author describes this moment by stating “the length, the weight, the glory was there” (Hurston 87). This shows Janie freely expressing herself, and finally letting her fabulous hair show.
The pear tree also shows Janie internal change. The pear tree is the symbol that represents Janie’s love life. As Janie goes through experiences and internal changes, the pear tree also changes. We can see the pear tree goes through two seasons during her time with Joe Starks. For example, in chapter four, the pear tree is in spring time, a time for a new beginning-“a bee for her bloom.” (Hurston 32). Spring was present when she took flight with Joe, but in chapters seven and eight we notice a poor communication and marriage between the two. Hurston expresses Janie’s pain...
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