Their Eyes Were Watching God

  • Published on
    03-Sep-2015

  • View
    7

  • Download
    3

DESCRIPTION

AP essay

Transcript

TheirEyesWereWatchingGodresponseInthebildungsroman,TheirEyesWereWatchingGod,byZoraNealeHurston,athirdpersonnarratordescribesthelifeofJaniethroughhereyes.Janie,anafricanamericanintheearlytwentiethcentury,beginsasayounggirlraisedbyhergrandmotheronawhitefamilysland.ThewhitefamilyprovidesandcaresforthemandJanieadmits,Ahwaswiddemwhitechillunsomuchtilahdidntknowaswazntwhitetilahwasroundsix.Sincehergrandmotherwasraisedwiththebeliefsthattobesuccessfulmeanstomarryasuccessfulman,sheurgesJanietogetmarriedasateenager.Hergrandmothereventuallydies,andJanierealizessheisnothappyandshedoesnotloveherhusband.Throughoutherlife,sheismarriedtwicemore,eachtimelookingforawaytoreachherdreams,throughthesemen.Janiestrugglestoconformtotheoutsideexpectationsimposedonherbyothers,aswellaswithherneedtobeindependentandfree,strengtheningtheoverallmeaningoftheworkhappinessandspiritualfulfillmentcannotbefoundthrougharelationship,insteaditmustbefoundinsideoneself.Inthebeginning,JaniemarriesLogantopleasehergrandmothersselfishandmaterialisticdesires.HermarriageendsabruptlywhensherunsawaywithJoeStarkstobemarriedonceagain.JanieisconsumedbythewayJoespeaksofpowerandabetterlife.However,Janiesoonlearnsthatshewillnotsharethispower,butinsteadbeoppressedbyit.WhenJoebecomesthemayorofasmalltown,Eatonville,hisneedtoberespectedalienatesJanie.Forexample,heforceshertowearherhairupinaragoutofjealousyandaneedforcontrol.ItmusthavebeenthewayJoespokeoutwithoutgivingherachancetosayanythingonewayoranotherthattookthebloomofthings.Sherealizesthatshehaslosthergreatestweapon,hervoice.JaniecannotspeakhermindandisunabletovoiceheropinionswhenJoebecomesviolent.Healsoforceshertorunthetownstore,whichrepresentsprisontoher,forheabusesherphysicallyandverballyifshemakesamistake.SoonJoediesofkidneyfailureanditisevidentthatJaniefeelshersenseoffreedomreturn.Immediatelysheletsherhairdown,symbolizingtheendofheroppression.ResentmentofhergrandmotherfillsJaniesheart.NannyhadtakenthebiggestthingGodevermade,thehorizonandpincheditintosuchalittlebitofathingthatshecouldtieitabouthergranddaughter'snecktightenoughtochokeherwithit.InJanieseyes,hergrandmotherhadstolenherdreamsinthenameoflove.Afteralongperiodofmourning,JaniemeetsTeaCake.Heisconsiderablyyoungerthanher,assheisnownearlyforty,howeversheisattractedtothewayhetreatsherasanequal.TeaCakeinviteshertoplaycheckerswithhim,whereasJoewouldorder,gofetchmemycheckerboard.Withhim,Janiefeelsfreeandabletoreachherdreams.WhentheygetmarriedandmovetotheEverglades,herloveforTeaCakeisevidentevenafterheleavesherforperiodsoftimesandhitsher.Janiebeginstoacceptmaledominanceasagiven.WhenTeaCakeisbittenbyarabiddog,hebecomesmentallysick.Oneday,hetriestokillJanie,andsheisforcedtoshoothim.Althoughsheisinlovewithhim,heractionprovesshelovesherselfmore.ThenovelreturnstothepresentandJanieisnowbackinEatonville.SheforgiveshergrandmotherandJoe,assherealizestheyarenotbadpeople,theysimplyareunderwrongbeliefs.Herforgivenessandacceptancerepresentsherstrengthandgrowthasaperson.Foronce,shedisregardswhatthetownspeoplesayabouther,asshehaslearnednoteverythingrequiresareactionandsilencecanoftenspeaktheloudest.Finallythatnight,sheremembersthedayshekilledTeaCakeandisheartbroken.However,sheconveysthatheshowedherthehorizon,andbecomesateaseknowingthatshehasbeentothehorizonandback.Janiesinternaljourneyandoutsideexperiencescreateawomanwhovaluesselfloveovervainrelationships.

Recommended

View more >