Their Eyes Were Watching God

987 Words4 Pages
“Their Eyes were Watching God” tells a story about a young girl, named Janie Crawford, who goes on a journey to find the true meaning of her obsession: love. Her obsession begins when she spots a bee pollinating a flower. She sees it as a beautiful natural thing, and wants to experience it herself. In “Their Eyes were Watching God”, Zora Neale Hurston, the author, takes Janie into an adventure containing multiple enduring obstacles. She utilizes symbolism to aid the central theme that one must first go through a journey of “self discovery”, ultimately demonstrating that one must love themselves before loving another person. Janie uses a physical tree in her Nanny’s backyard and transforms it into an abstract symbol to emphasize that nature can bring ideas and satisfaction to humans. The “blossoming pear tree in the backyard” of her Nanny’s house is introduced very early in the story, when Janie is at the age of 16 (Hurston 10). On one of the days that Janie spends sitting under the tree, she spots a bee collecting pollen from a pear blossom. She uses this bee-to-blossom experience as symbol of an ideal, happy relationship. A relationship where each person has mutual feelings of the other, and where there is no oppression or dominance over each other. Fast forward to her marriage with Logan, she returns to Nanny in tears crying about all that she wanted was the “things sweet wid mah marriage” like when she used to “sit under the pear tree and think” (Hurston 23). The quote reveals one of the many times that the pear tree symbol appears. The relationship that she has with Logan saddens her; she wishes for the beautiful and peaceful marriage that she dreamt of having when looking at the bee and the pear blossom. Janie soon realized that she is receiving the complete opposite of what she wanted. The pear tree symbol also appears later on in the marriage of Janie and Joe
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