Their Eyes Were Watching God 3 Essay

Their Eyes Were Watching God 3 Essay

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Their Eyes Were Watching God Analytical Essay One of the most fascinating and unique novels in African American literature is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, not so much for it s story but for it s beautifully written language. The novel is about the main character, Janie, trying to find herself and the meaning of love. Both Standard English and a southern black dialect, and poetry are seamlessly integrated into the story which reveals symbols and hidden meanings. "She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom ;the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from the root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was a marriage! She had been summoned to behold a revelation. Then Janie felt a pain remorseless sweet that left her limp and languid."(writes Hurston, 10). This quote shows how young Janie came to the realization of her sexuality as she masturbated under a pear tree. The pear tree represented her sexual desires. Janie soon found herself fond of the opposite sex, as explained by the following quote: Through pollinated air she saw a glorious being coming up the road. In her former blindness she had known him as shiftless Johnny Taylor, tall and lean. That was before golden dust of pollen had beglamored his rags and eyes. (11). However, Janie felt confined under her grandma s beliefs. Where were the singing bees for her? Nothing on the place nor in her grandma s house answered her, she feels (11). Janie could not find answers of sexuality in her grandma s house as her grandma had very different views. Soon, Janie s grandma married Janie to Logan Killicks. Despite Janie s disagreement, Janie s grandma had her way. Janie was off to Killicks house under the assumption that love would come after marriage. So Janie waited a bloom time, and a green time and an orange time. But when the pollen again gilded the sun and sifted down the world she begun to stand the gate and expect things. What things? She didn t know. (Hurston says, 23) Certainly, the marriage didn t go well, but to fully understand the meaning of the quote, it needs to be broken down to several parts: The bloom time meant the spring, which also served as the symbol as the beginning of the love. The green time meant the summer, which also served as the symbol of love during marriage. The orange time meant fall, which also served as the symbol of love at the end of marriage. In sum, Janie waited for love from Logan, and so she waited for the bloom time and the green time, but they never came. Janie then expected divorce but she did not know what to do, so she was confused. When a man named Joe Starks came along, he presented himself as a citified, stylish man. He looked and acted a lot better than Logan Killicks, and thus, Janie decided to run off with him. As Janie went off with Joe Starks, the author says: From now on until death she was going to have flower dust and spring time sprinkled on everything ( 31). Janie thought her future would be sweet and easy with Joe Starks. When Janie and Joe Starks came to Eatonville, a colored folks town , Starks immediately tried to win everyone s confidence. He soon took over mayor s office of the town. Being mayor s wife was not expected, and Janie felt disconnected from Starks as he tried to control her behaviors in front of the public. Later, Starks developed a kidney problem, and died a few months after because of it. Janie felt rather relieved, since she was no longer under the control of Starks, and she was in no hurry to marry another man, as she enjoyed the freedom very much. However, when Tea Cake came, Janie s world turned upside down. They talked and talked, Janie fell hopelessly in love with Tea Cake. Good night, Mis Janie. Look lak we done run our conversation from grass roots tuh pine trees. G bye. (he says, 101). The grass roots and pine trees here were depicted as life ;thus, it meant that Tea Cake and Janie not only talked about everything but also everything intimately. He could be a bee to a blossom, and pear tree blossom in the spring, (Hurston explains, 101). In this context, the pear tree once again represents Janie s sexual desire, and this quotation shows how much Janie was attracted to Tea Cake. [Tea Cake] was chopping down that tree that she never really did like by the dinning room window, (Hurston writes, 105). Since the death of Starks, many men had paid visits to Janie trying to get the better side of Janie and her properties. The tree in the quote above illustrated Janie s connection to Joe, and since Tea Cake was cutting down the tree, that meant that she was no longer tied to Joe, but instead was beginning a new life with Tea Cake. A new life filled with possiblity.

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