The Perfect Pear Tree
Often in today’s idealized world, marriage, beauty, and life in general are standardized through glamourous magazines, the media, and the people who surround us. This was not the case for Janie Crawford, however, as her perception of love and life was represented through Zora Neal Hurston’s illustration of the pear tree. Throughout “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” Janie explores the meaning of these virtues by constantly comparing them to her vision of the pear tree that she experienced as a child. To Janie, the pear tree was a symbol of nature, a mystery of the world with witch she longed to connect to.
In this novel it is evident that Janie desires to pursue love to the highest degree as she refuses to settle for anything less. She experiences times of tribulation and times of tranquility in her search for meaning and fulfillment as previously idealized in her experience under the pear tree. To Janie, the pear tree was like gold, something she was always working towards, something she valued greatly. The pear tree was something that prolonged her struggle in finding happiness and asserting a place for herself in the world- attempting to overcome the traditional rules of marriage. The image of the pear tree eludes her horizon and serves to represent these symbolic views of nature. After studying the bees and their interactions with the blossoms, she realizes just what it is like to be in love, and to finally be happy. In addition, the pear tree is a reflection of Janie herself with its “glossy leaves and bursting buds.” Hurston utilizes the technique of imagery when she revisits the pear tree, illustrating Janie’s idealization of courtship to a “dust-bearing bee sink[ing]” into the sanctum of bloom.” Desperately seeking love, Janie is continuously asking questions and searching for answers. Janie’s experience under the pear tree captures her youthful energy and longing to have all of the answers to the questions in life.
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