Their Eyes Were Watching God: Main Characters
People are very impressed by the length of time that it took Zora to write the book, because it seems so difficult to do. The author was clearly dedicated in telling this story because she was doing it during constant work and research.
Under the impression that this was a story about Janier’s life, it was confusing that the story started off with her being older. The beginning is clearly the end of the story, so she is probably going to be the one telling her own story later. The people talking about how she apparently ran off with someone implies that the story she will tell is a love story. Janie walking past them just oozing confidence means that she has somehow became that way over the course of the story, which could mean that this story is also about maturing.
The tree is clearly a symbol for females and how the wait for bees (males) to come when they need them. She wanted to be like the tree and was ready to have a connection with someone that could make her whole, like how trees need to be pollinated by bees, and bees need pollen from trees.
Janie had a dream of being in love, fulfilled, hoping that even though she was marrying someone who she did not love, her dream would still come true. After being married to Logan, she realized that it did not come so easy, and she needed to take the matter into her own hands.
Jody is clearly meant to contrast Logan with what kind of people they are and how they affect Janie. They represent the different worldviews of Janie and her Nanny, with Janie wanting someone who she is physically and emotionally attached with, who can make her feel fulfilled in life, and her nanny who feels like she needs someone who can provide stability and keep her from going poor.
Jody feels the need to control Janie too make her into the type of woman he wants. Shutting her down from making a speech pushed his ideals on her and prevented her from expressing herself. She is shut down and changed by him to fit the role that he wants her to fill, never allowing her her own identity.
This chapter focus on the dynamic between Jody and Janie and how their relationship evolves. Jody is shown to be more and more in need of controlling Janie, making her do thing for him and shutting her down, restricting her. He even influences her when he isnt there. Jody could be seen as an antagonist at this point because her’s the only one restricting Janie and providing an obstacle for her. But he isnt an antagonist, itr’s just that his flawed beliefs in how women should be make him seem bad.
Over the years, Jody and Janie change, Jody for the worse. He realizes that her’s getting older and weaker, but Janie is still beautiful, and he envies this. There is a purposeful difference in how Jody and Janie are portrayed when getting older. Itr’s also a symbol for the marriage. As they get older, the marriage deteriorates.
This chapter is the culmination of all that Jody and Janie’s marriage is. Janie finally let’s out all of her frustration on a dying Jody, realizing that he’s held her back from her dreams this entire time. They berate each other and that’s it. Their entire marriage seemed to fly by so fast and it seems the author intended that.
Here, Janie is finally pretty much free from Jody. There are many signs here to show that she feels more free than before. Instead of keeping to herself, she thinks a lot more, realizing things that sher’s only subconsciously thought of, like how she hates her Nanny for how she affected her life. Janier’s hair being let down is also a sign of her independence and freedom, as it was shown as a symbol of power for her earlier. When Jody had her tie her hair up, he was restricting that power.
This chapter is where Tea Cake is introduced to Janie. Tea Cake clearly contrasts Janier’s meeting with Jody as he seems to treat her a lot more respect, rather than just praise. The flirting and time spent between Janie and Tea Cake goes a lot more in-depth than between Janie and Jodyr’s first meeting, which seemed like every time it was not very focused or glossed-over.
Janie is conscientious of Tea Cake, fearing that he just wants her for her money. After falling for Jody the first time, she becomes wary of other men seemingly admiring her, but eventually she comes to realize that he actually likes her.
The way the people in the town were talking about Janie is reminiscent of the way the ten people were talking about her in the beginning of the story. Because, of this, we sort of now what is going to happen, that she is going to leave with Tea Cake and eventually come back by herself, leaving it as a mystery as to why.
Even though Janie is worried about Tea Cake questionable disappearing for long periods of time, she accepts the excuses he has, showing her trust. Their relationship goes on and seems almost surreal how good that itr’s going.
This shows where Janie feels fulfilled all over again. The relationship between the two is very good, almost too good. She tries to think that it is not like how Jody was, because he actually cares about her and her needs.
Janie needs tea cake to act to her the same way she acts to him. She needs him to tell her that he does not like Nunkie.
This is where it most clearly touches on the issues of race. The character of Mrs. Turner believes that being white is superior to being black. She is a product of her environment that she grew up in and convinced her of these things.
Tea Cake beating Janie further shows the cracks in a relationship that, on the surface, seems perfect. It is strange that Tea Cake acts this way. The way the author just brushes over this though could imply that this is just a side effect of the time period that the author lived in, where domestic violence was a more acceptable part of life back then.
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