Thier Eyes Were Watching God Essay Research

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Thier Eyes Were Watching God Essay, Research Paper 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. Janie, through youth and

lack of empowerment, is mislead to believe other people?s definitions of love and marriage until she is strong enough to find a relationship on her own which satisfies her personal definitions of love and marriage. Nanny, Janie?s grandmother, leads her to believe that love comes after marriage though love is secondary to the security marriage provides. Nanny feels marriage was simply for security and to start a family. ?Taint Logan Killicks Ah wants you to have baby, it?s protection.?(pg. 14). Nanny says this to Janie before her arranged marriage to Logan. Nanny wants Janie to be financially set with her life before she dies and leaves Janie to fend for herself. Nanny wants her to start a family. Nanny makes Janie think that love is just going to come along after the marriage.

Right after Janie?s marriage to Logan, Janie says she is going to go into her kitchen and wait for the love to begin. 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 from both of her previous marriages. Tea Cake teaches Janie that women can do the same fun things that men can, like fishing and playing

checkers. Tea Cake makes Janie feel like she can do anything. Tea Cake makes Janie a part of his social life and this is something new to Janie?s life. Tea Cake gives Janie a wonderful feeling. Tea Cake makes her feel like an equal human being. The love she feels for Tea Cake and the love she is given in return helps Janie truly understand what love means. Janie, finds in the end, that love is undeniable. It is a different experience for each person you spend your time with. Janie finds different kinds of ?love? with each of her husbands. Her marriage to Logan makes her realize that marriage does not bring love. This experience makes her grow into a real woman. She grows up and starts to think for herself. Janie?s marriage to Joe is also a growing experience for her because it