What Is Janie's Image Of True Love

Good Essays
Topics: Marriage, Dream
Janie stands and ponders her life in a way she never has before. Her image of Jody becomes tainted, while she realizes her youth is expiring and her dreams are seeming more and more elusive. The image of the shelf inside her represents what she thought her life would become. Janie always dreamed of finding a passionate and fulfilling love, along with a personal freedom within that love. From the beginning of the novel, it is made apparent Janie would have a hard time finding this. Whether it is fate or her grandmother that lessens Janie’s chances of reaching her desires, nevertheless, she is persistent in finding them. It isn't until after Jody slaps her that she realizes something had fallen off that shelf, which she claims to be her image …show more content…
Consequently, Jody could not provide her with the life she dreamed of living. This is demonstrated through the imagery of the “blossomy openings that blossom no more”. Throughout the novel, Janie mentions how she finds comfort in reminiscing about the pear tree from her youthful summers. The pear tree failing to bear fruit and blossom demonstrates how Janie has fallen out of infatuation with Jody and now assumes that perhaps her image of a perfect love was never meant for her in the first place. Therefore, after two failed marriages, she finds it unlikely that she would come across a man who would give her the unconditional love and personal freedom she longs for. Through these truths are unsettling to Janie, she does not surrender to her seemingly impossible desires. “She was saving up her feelings for some man she had never seen” demonstrates how she saves her feelings for a man who will love her in ways Jody can not. Despite her age and unfortunate situation, she still believes she will find pure happiness. Though Janie never shows it on the outside to Jody, she feels it within herself. Until his death, that seems to be enough to keep her obedient to Jody until she is able to achieve her true …show more content…
Throughout her first two marriages, it seems Janie’s dreams are simply out of reach, but Joe’s death allows her a new sense of freedom and promise. For the first time, Janie feels her life has the possibility to become everything she desired since the first marriage. This is proven true when she meets Tea Cake, the epitome of everything she longed for in a lover; the true “flesh and blood figure of her dreams”. Though, even after Janie finds everything she is looking for, she is still tested by fate. During the chaos of the hurricane, Janie realizes she would rather die with Tea Cake than live without him. Her realization is ironic for the events to come when she has to make the tragic decision of killing his diseased mind before he kills her. The unfortunate climax as well as the trial to follow may make it seem Janie is a victim of fate. The shelf inside her must be empty since all her false hopes had fallen off. However, fate has a mysterious power over Janie that she does not understand until after she returns to Eatonville alone. It may seem Janie is a star-crossed figure of her dreams, but the end of the novel disproves this theory. Even through Janie had lost Tea Cake in the most tragic way, she did not lose the emotions she felt towards him or the beautiful memories he had given her. She is awakened to find that Tea Cake may have fallen off the shelf inside her as well, but his presence

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