Critical analysis essay on their eyes were watching god


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While she is certainly an independent woman who believes in the equality of the sexes, Janie does not lead a typically feminist existence throughout the novel. Largely because of her relationships with the three key men in her life, Janie is often beaten down, silenced, ignored, marginalized, and even physically abused. She suffers at the hands of Logan, Jody, and Tea Cake, but she emerges from each marriage stronger and more sure of her own identity.


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Paradoxically, the times in her life during which she cannot be a feminist are what ultimately make Janie an exemplar of feminist strength. Janie marries Logan Killicks, her first husband, not because she wants to be with him, but because she wants to please her grandmother and hopes that she will learn to love Logan eventually. Rather than following her instincts and insisting on retaining her independence, Janie defers to the wishes of others. Her marriage brings more forced capitulations. Logan, a well-meaning but oppressive man, wants to keep Janie under his thumb.

He calls her spoiled and insists that she labor in the fields alongside him. In addition to this attempted physical oppression, Janie suffers from the emotional oppression of being trapped in a affectionless marriage. Because she is so fed up with Logan and his domineering ways, Janie musters up the courage to leave behind the only home she has ever known—something she almost certainly would not have done had she not married Logan in the first place.

It is also more damaging. Nanny sees her kiss him, and says that Janie is now a woman Free Essays words 4. These writers created seminal works of American literature and gave credibility to the burgeoning American literary tradition. Their work is revered as great literature for its ability to transcend cultural and generational boundaries and its capacity for appealing to people all over the world. As generations come and go, the body of great literature continually increases. Zora Neale Hurston lacks [any] excuse. The sensory sweep of her novel carries no theme, no message, no thought.

In the main, her novel is not addressed to the Negro, but to a white audience whose chauvinistic tastes she knows how to satisfy. She exploits the phase of Negro life which is "quaint," the phase which evokes a piteous smile on the lips of the "superior" race. Powerful Essays words 5.

The Art of the Essay — Writing a Thesis: A Close Reading of Zora Neale Hurston

She left the world of her suffocating grandmother to live with a man whom she did not love, and in fact did not even know. She then left him to marry another man who offered her wealth in terms of material possessions but left her in utter spiritual poverty. After her second husband's death, she claims responsibility and control of her own life, and through her shared love with her new husband, Teacake, she is able to overcome her status of oppression She was also one of the most influential of black American writers during the twentieth century because she exceeded the barriers of race, sex and poverty.

Hurston's most acclaimed work is said to be Their Eyes Were Watching God, and has been read, adored, rejected, reviewed, and badgered by many literary critics. Powerful Essays words 8. She helps women to deal with their own problems by dealing with hers. She deals with personal relationships as well as searches for self-awareness. Janie Crawford is more than a heroine, however, she is a woman who has overcome the restrictions placed on her by the oppressive forces and people in her life. As a young woman, Janie had no complaints about her role in society and fit in as most young people do However, as she tries to show examples of inequality through various character relationships, examples of equality are revealed through other relationships.

Janie, the novel's main character, encounters both inequality and equality through the treatment she receives during her three marriages. Janie's first marriage is to Logan Killicks By presenting Janie's search for identity, from her childbirth with Nanny to the death of Tea Cake, Hurston shows what a free southern black women might have experienced in the early decades of the century Free Essays words 2.

However, the ideals involved in marriage differ by the individuals involved. In the book a girl by the name Janie is raised by her grandmother and then married off by her grandmother. Originally all Janie knows of marriage and love is what her grandmother tells her When her novel was first published, many black readers were enraged. It wasn't until the early seventies when Hurston's novel was rediscovered. What aspects of the novel enraged the readers so that it would be forgotten for more than thirty years.

One of the most important aspects of the novel that enraged the black readers was Hurston's portrayal of the white people Janie survives a grandmother, three husbands, and innumerable friends. Throughout this journey, she moves towards her ideals about love and how to live one's life. Hurston chooses to define Janie not by what is wrong in her life, but by what is good in it.


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Janie undergoes many changes throughout her journey, but the imagery in her life always conjures positive ideas in the mind of the reader Janie, throughout the novel, bounces through three different marriages, with a brief stint at being a widow in between. Janie's first article of clothing is an apron that she wears while married to Logan Killiks as a hard working sixteen year old Free Essays words 3.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Hurston, a Reflection

Janie's search for identity throughout this book is very visible. It has to do with her search for a name, and freedom for herself. As she goes through life her search takes many turns for the worse and a few for the better, but in the end she finds her true identity. Through her marriages with Logan, Joe, then Tea Cake she figures out what is for her and how she wants to live It is human nature to fear the unknown and to desire stability in life.

This need for stability leads to the concept of possessing things, because possession is a measurable and definite idea that all society has agreed upon. Of course, when people begin to rely on what they know to be true, they stop moving forward and simply stand still. From her early childhood, Janie Crawford searches for self-knowledge and grows through her relationships with men, family, and society.

The main character continually seeks autonomy and self-realization, but her quest cannot continue as long as she is the object of others Hurston drew on her on experiences as a feminist Afro-American female to create a story about the magical transformation of Janie, from a young unconfident girl to a thriving woman.

Analysis About Their Eyes Were Watching God English Literature Essay

Janie experiences many things that make her a compelling character who takes readers along as her companion, on her voyage to discover the mysteries and rewards life has to offer. Zora Neale Hurston was, the Free Essays words 9. Their Eyes Were Watching God is a story about one woman's quest to free herself from repression and explore her own identity; this is the story of Janie Crawford and her journey for self-knowledge and fulfillment. Janie transforms many times as she undergoes the process of self-discovery as she changes through her experiences with three completely different men Powerful Essays words 8 pages Preview.

But Hurston does not leave us with the hopelessness of Fitzgerald or Hemingway, rather, she extends a recognition and understanding of humanity's need to escape emptiness.

Analysis Of ' Their Eyes Were Watching God '

Although people always have their own perspectives and standpoints of problems that are different from others, Nanny's own view of marriage is influenced by slavery and her ill-fated life experience. As a former slave, Nanny's idea of marriage is influenced by her social status. Back to the years of slavery, African-American couldn't get too much freedom, and they were treated as goods by their white masters Examining the abuse, oppression and criticism Janie undergoes in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God from both a contemporary woman's viewpoint and an early twentieth century woman's viewpoint reveals differences, as well as similarities in the way people respond to events After having two failed marriages, Janie meets Tea Cake, a suave, charming younger man who truly loves Janie.

The selected passage begins as Janie concludes sharing her story with Phoeby Her marriage with Logan Killicks consisted of dull, daily routines. Wedding herself to Joe Starks brought her closer to others, than to herself. In her final marriage to Vergible Woods, also known as Tea Cake, she finally learned how to live her life on her own. In the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie suffered through many difficult situations that eventually enabled her to grow into an independent person Often the individuals are biologically trapped between two probable lives, and they forge ahead to meet the opportunity of possibly belonging to the higher society while they degrade the small culture which has weaned t Powerful Essays words 4 pages Preview.

In the continuing philosophical debate of free will versus determinism, the question arises as to whether or not free will exists. Do people really have the capability of making decisions on their own. OR Is life already determined, and whatever we do is and always was the only thing that we could have done at that time, conditions being what they were Strong Essays words 4 pages Preview. Good Essays words 1. Wait till you see de new blue satin Tea Cake done picked out for me tuh stand up wid him in. High heel slippers, necklace, earrings, everything he wants tuh see me in.

Each holds a unique meaning for its counterpart.

Thus, the blatant enslavement and brutality described by Douglass manifests itself in…… [Read More]. Women Authors and the Harlem. Some artists, such as Aaron Douglas, captured the feeling of Africa in their work because they wanted to show their ancestry through art. Others, like Archibald J. Motley Jr. Additionally, some Black American artists felt more comfortable in Europe than they did in America. These artists tended to paint landscapes of different European countries.

Most of the latter, however, were ostracized for this because many black politicians felt they should represent more of their African culture in their work Campbell , Powell and Bailey. Whatever the case, most African-American artists during this period of time had a similarity that tied them together. Black art was often very colorful and vivacious; having an almost rhythmic feel to it. This was appropriate…… [Read More]. O rother, Where Art Thou? Could a Hollywood filmmaker adapt Homer's Odyssey for the screen in the same way that James Joyce did for the Modernist novel?

The idea of a high-art film adaptation of the Odyssey is actually at the center of the plot of Jean-Luc Godard's film Contempt, and the Alberto Moravia novel on which Godard's film is based. In Contempt, Prokosch, a rich American dilettante film producer played by Jack Palance, hires Fritz Lang to film a version of Homer's Odyssey, then hires a screenwriter to write it and promptly ruins his marriage to rigitte ardot. Fritz Lang gamely plays himself -- joining the ranks of fellow "arty" German-born directors who had earlier deigned to act before the camera like Erich von Stroheim in Wilder's Sunset oulevard, playing a former director not unlike himself, or…… [Read More].

Sweat by Zora Neal Hurston Specifically it.

Their Eyes Were Watching God Summary

Sweat, by Zora Neal Hurston. Specifically, it will contain a biography of the writer and criticism of her work "Sweat," along with another story.

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