Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay

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Their Eyes Were Watching God, a novel by Zora Neale Hurston, is ultimately a novel about finding oneself. During the course of the novel, our main character, Janie, goes through three important relationships that shape her life. From a young age, Janie begins to be defined by other people and not defined by herself. She partakes in many relationships where she has no control and completely looses herself. These complex, often toxic relationships show Janie what love is like and what love is not like. Janie’s three marriages to Logan Killicks, Jody Starks, and Tea Cake each offer her a fresh sense of what love is, her purpose in life, and herself. Janie’s complex relationships commence at age sixteen with a man named Logan Killicks. Janie’s relationship with Logan is never one of true love. She is never quite smitten with him, in fact, regularly she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. Nanny, who raises Janie, arranges the marriage. Nanny is never interested in love or if Janie is in love with Logan. Janie is obviously uncomfterable with the idea of marrying someone she doesn’t love, and expresses her distaste to Nanny. Nanny doesn’t see a reason for Janie’s aversion to marrying Logan even though there is no love between them. She says: “You com heah wid yo’ mouf full of fullishness on uh busy day. Heah you got uh prop tuh lean on all yo bown days, and big protection, and everybody got tuh tip dey hat tuh you and call you Mis’ Killicks, and you come worrying’ me ‘bout love.” (Hurston 23) After being forced into the marriage, Logan and Janie’s relationship is continually artificial. Their relationship is one of pure business. Although pampered by Logan after first getting wed, Janie notices that Logan starts to change. He is not so fond of Janie anymore and begins to belittle Janie. He asks her to work to help him with the farm, and Janie obeys. However,

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