Free Essay on Compare and Contrast Themes in the Beloved and Their Eyes Were Watching God

Published: 2019-06-04
Free Essay on Compare and Contrast Themes in the Beloved and Their Eyes Were Watching God
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Literature Slavery Zora Neale Hurston Their Eyes Were Watching God
Pages: 8
Wordcount: 2052 words
18 min read

A theme is an underlying message in any works of writing such as a poem, song, short stories, and so forth. In other words, it refers to the perception or the belief a writer has about life, revealed through works of writing (Levene 14). The belief or the idea goes beyond cultural obstacles, and it is universal in nature. When a theme is universal, it simply means that it touches on the human experience, regardless of their race or their language (Baym 10). It is what the story denotes. Often, a piece of writing will have more than one theme (Baym 10). As such, the paper will concentrate on discussing the comparisons as well as the contractions of themes existing between two works of writing, which is the beloved, and their eyes are watching God. However, the paper will first begin by presenting a brief analysis of the two and the reasons that led to the development of those pieces of writing.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

The preview of the Beloved by Toni Morrison

The novel beloved, touches on the facts that make it all, and are much more horrifying to the readers or the audience. Morrisons inspiration for the model was Margaret Garner, a woman who killed her two-year-old daughter, Sugg in the year 1856 to prevent her from going back to slavery (Rody 2). Her intention was to kill all of her children and finally herself, but before she could finish the act, the slave catcher pried the knife from her fingers. On the backbone of this dreadful novel, Morrison erects Beloved, a novel of a baby who haunts the mother who killed her (Rody 3). The next paragraph focuses on the summary and the analysis of the novel, beloved.

The novel opens in a Cincinnati manner, where the former slaves and the current cook, called Sethe lives at 124 Bluestone Road together with her daughter Denver as well as her mother in law, and Baby Suggs (Morrison 5). After fifteen years before the story begins, Sethe kills her infant daughter, to keep her away from being taken back to slavery. The news on murder reaches the community and henceforth rejects Sethe. Now, she is alone, since her two sons; Howard and Buglar left years before the commencement of the novel (Morrison 10).

After the death of Sugg, Sethe, and her daughter, Denver is now alone in the house together with the presumed ghost of a baby who died a long time ago. Furniture and people moved around strangely in her presence (Morrison 14). Sethe has now accepted her lot, at least until Garner, who knows Sethe from their slavery days, arrives at the house. Sethe openly welcomes Garner into the house, and the two later becomes a good couple. Denver, the daughter, is not seemingly happy concerning these arrangements. However, the ghost, Sugg has seemed to disappear, and both Sethe and Denver breathe a sigh of freedom (Morrison 14).

The Strange feeling, infuriate within the family when a strange woman shows up at their home. Denver is thrilled to have someone in whom she can talk to. The woman then introduces herself as Beloved, which this confirms the name of Sethes baby, who she murdered. Beloved seems to know things she should not. Though she affects the peace of Sethe, she lets her stay because Denver is in need of a friend. Sethe is in wonders trying to figure out if Beloved was her daughter, returned from the grave. Garner wants Beloved to leave, but he does not know how since he has no say. Moreover, he does not own the Sethes House, and he is not officially part of the family (Morrison 14-18).

Beloved reveals the desire to own everything such as properties that Sethe has, including Garner, the new husband she just got (Morrison 17). She seduces Garner. Then later, Garner hears that Sethe killed her baby from a close family friend. When he consults Sethe concerning the same, a fight breaks out, and Garner storms out of their house. Sethe seems not bothered with the incidence of Garner living but draws all her attention to focus on Beloved, leaving Denver to wonder alone in what just happened between the two. The attention of Beloved to Sethe and Denver changes; Sethe now spends all her time with Beloved. The scenario that is believed to have led Sethe to lose her job, money, and food. Denver, who has not left the house for several years, now has to go and ask for help. She finally secures a job to provide for her loving mother and Beloved, who is now pregnant. The women of the town decide on, that Beloved is haunting Sethe and have an exorcism (Morrison 17). The employer of Denver, Mr. Bodwin and he is white, arrives to take her to work. On seeing this, Sethe imagines again the slave catcher coming to take her daughter away, and attacks the man with an ice pick. When the craziness settles, and Sethe together with the white man are safe, strange things happen. Beloved disappears, Garner returns and reconcile with Sethe. No one finds out what just happened to Beloved (Morrison 17).

The preview of their eyes are watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale was an anthropologist as well as a writer during the period when there was Harlem Renaissance (Borders and Hurston 8). This was the time when black American writers thrived through in making their writing works re-known. The writers offer a new remembrance of the experience of the Africans- Americans through their works of writing and art (Borders and Hurston 8).

Zora was born and raised in the southern part of the United States in Alabama but later moved to Florida while she was still young (Borders and Hurston 8). She was very passionate about literature and her desire to understand people and their cultures pushed her to study anthropology in the College of Barnard, the sister school of the University of Columbia (Borders and Hurston 8-9).

During this time of the study, the Harlem Renaissance erupted in full, and its headquarters were in Harlem, just a few meters away from Barnard College. Zora began writing on the culture of African-American and with no time, she became a celebrated member of the Harlem Renaissance during the time her story Spunk was included in the famous collection of the new Negro (Borders and Hurston 15).

The synopsis of Their Eyes Were Watching God

The novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God is a tale of Janie Crawford, who was in the quest of finding true love. Janie Crawford narrates her story of the three marriages as well as her search for love to her friend Phoebe (Hurston 5).

Janie at her young age, her grandmother joins her with a man named Logan Killicks, who becomes the first husband of Janie. Logan Killicks mistreats and threatens to kill Janie. This situation influences Janie to run away with Joe Starks, who was a handsome as well as charming man. Both later move together to a place known as Eatonville, in Florida, which was the first town in the land of the United States where the blacks settled, and where Zora spent most of her special childhood life. Janie is overwhelmed with the notion that, for the first time she will be happy in her life, but the treatment of Joe is not an exemption to Logans behavior. Joe possesses very rigid understanding or definition of the genders roles and expects full support from Janie and not arguments. Janie finds this unusual leading a non-normal relationship between the two. Later, Joe dies and leaves Janie alone (Hurston 6).

Janie later falls in love with another man known as Tea Cake. They marry and move to yet another place called Everglades in Florida. Finally, Janie has the love she longed for, and Tea and she are happy, despite the fact that they are both intermittently jealous of each other. Things take a darker turn when a dog bites Tea, and he suffers from rabies, which later turns him mad and tries to shoot Janie. She kills Tea in the process of self-defense, and later finds herself on trial because of this act (Hurston 6).

During the trial, a black male friend to Tea shows up in the courts and condemns Janie, but in turn a group of white women shows up to defend her. The white jury declares Janie free and returns to Eatonville, where she meets her friend Phoeby and narrates her story (Hurston 7).

Comparison and contrast of themes in the novels

The two novels beloved and their eyes are watching God reveal a tract of similarities in how themes appear and are presented to fit and present the idea of the authors. The themes appearing are as follows

Theme of Love in beloved

The element of strive to love as appearing in the novel Beloved results in inhuman choices of committing murder. For instance, first, Sethe opts to discard, either flung abroad or cruelly abort her children to prevent the slave catcher to take them away (George 24). Second, in reference to Sugg: slavery gobbles up the offspring, selling some while chasing others with lashes and dogs. The breast of the slave women that were not sucked, forced them back into indigo or rice fields leaving behind the deep yearning that empowered the woman, Sethe to survive the mammary rape and flee toward the spiritual mother who encourages her to find the grace to herself once again (George 25).

Theme of Love in their eyes are watching God

Love is the most prevalent theme in the novel their eyes are watching God, which involves Janie searching for true and unconditional love. All along, she encounters different varieties of love in her life (Davis 43). As a result, of her quest for this true love, Janie achieves her independence and personal freedom that translates to be a true hero in the tale. In the novel, others tend to judge Janie just because she is brave enough to achieve her autonomy. The story reveals the results of love, between a bee and blossom that she gets after having to strive throughout as she marries several men in her life (Davis 43).

Janie encounters several types of love all through her life. With her grandmother, Janie encounters a protective love. In addition, her grandmother yearns for her granddaughter, Janie to have a good life than the life she had while she was young, and she did everything in her power to provide the care and safety that Janie deserved. This protective love pushes her Nanny to plot for marriage between Janie and Logan Killicks (Davis 44).

Just like her grandmother, Logan provides a protective love by providing everything that Janie required, but in turn, Janie does not feel satisfied for the love that she has always desired and yearn for. Joe, who is Janies friend and has feelings for Janie, provides an escape plan for the unsatisfying love of Logan. Janie gets the assurance of true love with Joe, who proclaims to treat her like a woman, rather than a subservient wife of a farmer. After being in a marriage with Joe, Janie realizes that she still missing the true love she longed for. The love between Joe and Janie was possessive love. Joe sees Janie as his trophy as well as his possession; hence, expects Janie at all time to follow his orders, just as the people abide by the by-laws created by a state. In addition, Janie is forbidden to interact with play checkers as well as porch sisters of the crossroads stores (Davis 45).

Theme of suffering and slavery

In the novel Beloved, the sufferings seem to be the root of the characters as they struggle to survive in a society that is cruel and does not observe the well-being of the people, neither does not inquire much about why some things are happening. The main character, Sethe reveals the suffering that she encountered in the slavery through the kind of defense she implements to protect her children. Sethe kills her children to protect them from being taken to slavery.

In the novel, their eyes are watching God; sufferings develop in the search for true and unconditional love. The author, Zora narrates the kind of suffering that Janie had to go through from one husband to another until she found true love. For instance, Logan, her first husba...

Cite this page

Free Essay on Compare and Contrast Themes in the Beloved and Their Eyes Were Watching God. (2019, Jun 04). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism