Their Eyes Were Watching God 2 — страница 3

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happy one. Even though, Janie has discovered her “true-self”, and is living up to her own potential, she still has an “Achilles heel”. That crutch she so desperately depends on is Tea Cake. Two years after the day Janie and Vergible became man and wife; a rabid dog, in their flight from a hurricane, bit Tea cake. Tea Cake refused treatment because he felt well and didn’t think anything of the dog. Sadly, three weeks later, Tea Cake fell ill with rabies. During one of his diseased fits, he became convinced Janie was cheating on him, and attempted to shoot her. Janie was forced to kill the man she so desperately needed to save her own life. When she returns from her journey, after Tea Cake dies she has truly reached the pinnacle of human existence. She was now

independent. She did not need anyone to be by her side, protect her, or encourage her to make her feel complete. She was independent and that was all the difference. By discovering the “two things everybody’s got to do fuh theyselves,” Janie’s personal victory over oppression and the harsh rule of reality was epitomized (183). In relating her life as a “delegate in da Grand lodge, big convention of livin” to her friend Phoeby, Janie inadvertently begins her life as a role model for all seeking the culmination of Human existence (4). The two keys that unlocked life’s secrets she believed were “people got tuh go tuh God, and they got to find out about livin’ fuh theyselves” (183). Zora Neale Hurston closes off Their Eyes Were Watching God with one final,

poignant image, reiterating the transformation in the heroine: “[calling] in her soul to come and see the splendor of her life” (184). Hurston has portrayed a female character as an emergent heroine, a creator of her own destiny, and one who has mastered the journey for self-awareness. Says Mary Helen Washington in the Foreword of Their Eyes Were Watching God, “for most black women readers discovering “Their Eyes” for the first time, what was most compelling was the figure of Janie Crawford – powerful, articulate, self-reliant, and radically different from any woman character they had ever before encountered in literature.” Janie Crawford is defiant; she defies men, but most importantly, she defies our own preconceived notions of what the role of an African-American

woman should be in modern literature.