Their Eyes Were Watching God Introduction Essay

Topic #1
Throughout her life, Janie has to fight what is expected of her by other people. Follow her life in the novel, and comment on how she battles these perceptions.

Outline
I. Thesis Statement: The people with whom Janie lived tried to restrict her to an understood, stereotypical role, but Janie was able to free herself from these accepted roles.

II. Nanny
A. Thinks a woman should be safe
B. Encourages Janie to marry for convenience
C. Is satisfied with Janie’s life, though Janie herself is not

III. Logan
A. Cannot understand why Janie won’t act like his last wife
B. Expects Janie to work without question
1. Becomes more demanding when he feels threatened
2. Treats Janie like property
C. Janie leaves him for Joe Starks

IV. Joe Starks
A. Entices Janie with talk of ambition and dreams
B. Expects her to be content with his dreams
C. Feels threatened by her refusal
1. Tries to suppress her
2. Becomes abusive when she retaliates
D. His death liberates her

Topic #2
Compare the settings of the novel in terms of the system of power that is used in each society. How is power used in each society?

Outline
I. Thesis Statement: The setting in the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God is directly related to the hierarchy of power that each location...

(The entire section is 554 words.)

Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay

972 Words4 Pages

Love and Marriage

     Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is a novel about a Southern black woman and her experiences through life. Janie, the main character, is forced at a young age by her grandmother, into an arranged marriage with a man named Logan. Janie is told to learn to love Logan, but the love never comes for
Logan in Janie's heart so she leaves him. She meets a man named Joe. Soon after they are married. Joe was sweet at first, then his true feelings about women come out and Janie looses her love she thought she had for him. He soon dies after their separation. Janie then falls in love with a man named Tea Cake. He is the man with whom she has a wonderful, loving, happy marriage.…show more content…

Nanny lets Janie believe that you need a man to take care of you and provide for you. According to Nanny, you have to marry a man who has money because too much trouble comes with marrying a poor man.
     Joe marries Janie strictly for social appearance.
Joe wants to have empowerment and he thinks a woman, like Janie, would help his image. He wants to run a town and the only way he feels he can look good is to have a pretty woman by his side. In the beginning of their marriage Joe treats he like a queen. He tells her that his woman needs to relax in the shade sipping on molasses water and fanning herself from the hot sun.
Janie fell in love with the idea. Joe's words, however, were deceiving. He actually means that woman need to stay home to cook and clean while the man goes out to make the money. Joe often puts Janie down in public saying things like, 'Thank yuh fuh yo compliments, but mah wife don't know nothin bout no speech makin. Ah married her for nothin lak that. She's a woman and her place is in de home.';(pg. 40-41). Joe publicly humiliates Janie constantly saying she is as low as mules. Joe feels that his marriage is a part of his image, a part of his job. He does not marry her for love. Joe marries Janie to look good in front of the people who look up to him.
     Her marriage to Tea Cake is opposite

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