Their Eyes Were Watching God Analysis

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Though the novel represents many feministic ideas in relation to marriage, it should not be read and discussed solely from this perspective. This statement is commented by Ramsey who claims that the story is “both a precursor to the modern feminist agenda yet also a reactionary tale embalming Hurston’s tender passions for a very traditional male” (1994: 38). In spite of the fact that the scholar agrees that Janie gains some self-belief and self-realization in the course of time, he still perceives her as a woman who cannot survive without a man by her side who would support her. It seems that she has a strong need to have someone by her side to support her when something goes wrong. This argument is confirmed by another researcher, Jennifer…show more content…
Her third husband, Tea Cake, treats her as his equal partner giving her stability she so desperately needs. He wants to teach her how to play checkers which is considered to be an activity for men exclusively. She is surprised by his open attitude toward it and she says to him: “Jody useter tell me Ah never would learn. It wuz too heavy for mah brains” (Their Eyes Were Watching God, 1990: 96). Her marriage to Tea Cake is considered by some researchers as an egalitarian one because of the fact that in their relationship they are equal (Miller, 2004). Miller writes that in this marriage, the protagonist “progression towards autonomy” is visible (2004:…show more content…
In the novel, he is referred to as “a glance from God” (Their Eyes Were Watching God: 161). There are two instances in which Tea Cake’s masculinity and protectiveness towards Janie are shown. He covers his wife when a rabid dog tries to attack her. As a result, Tea Cake is bitten by it and has a wound on his cheek. Janie, though scared to death, appreciates these grand gestures. His commitment to her is reassured once again in this scene. In the second example of his protectiveness, Tea Cake helps Janie to survive the hurricane. Unfortunately, after a while his health starts to deteriorate and his “sick headache that made him lie down for awhile” (Their Eyes Were Watching God: 1990:

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