|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Zora Neale Hurston Character analysis|
Zora Neale Hurston's novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, centers its narrative on the character of Janie Crawford who is the narrator, heroin and the tour guide throughout the novel. In particular, Janie is portrayed as an individual who extensively searches for true and unconditional love while, she, at the same time, tries to find her independence and individualism (Schwarz). While in the course of finding true love, Janie gains her personal freedom and independence, rendering her a true heroine in Hurston's novel. This being said, the core intent of this essay is to discuss Janie's character in regard to her struggle to balance between finding her individualism and finding her true love.
To begin with, the author substantiates the struggles that Janie has undergone as she strives to find her individualism in various ways. For instance, in the novel, Janie searches for the ideal kind of love, the love that she has always desired and that which is exemplified by the bee and the blossom that she sees in Nanny's backyard. The first instance of Janie's struggle to find true love is mirrored by her childhood and adolescent years with Nanny, her grandmother. In this regard, although Nanny shows protective love for Janie, she still struggles with her feelings and desires about what she thinks is the ideal kind of fulfilling love.
Similarly, the author points out that despite the fact that Nanny overly loved Janie, she still desired for more genuine love. Based on this context, her struggle to balance between finding her autonomy and true love is also seen in her relationship with Joe Starks. Although Janie is initially happy with the love she receives from Joe, she begins to feel dissatisfied as she realizes that Joe was treating her like one of his properties (Hurston). Besides, her struggle to balance between the two most essential elements in her life is seen through how she suffers from Joe's possessive love and the fact that she was trapped in this loveless relationship. Through these struggles, the author points out that Janie begins to develop some inner strength, which inherently fosters her autonomy.
Finally, the author portrays Janie's satisfaction through her marriage to Tea Cake which happens after the development of her autonomy and also after Joe's death. In this section of the novel, Janie finds her ideal kind of love, that she has always been looking for, after meeting her partner, the charming and overly loving Tea Cake. To her, she understands that she is no longer treated as possession as Joe had always treated her, and for this reason, she is confident that she had found the love that she has desired since her adolescent years. With Tea Cake, Janie gets satisfaction for her desire for love and eventually experiences true happiness, alongside her individualism and independence, for the first time.
In conclusion, based on the points discussed in this essay, it is evident that the epitome of Janie's struggles is as a result of her desire to strike a balance between her ideal love life and living as an independent individual. Besides, throughout the novel, the author points out that Janie was in search of a love that was solely based on both security and protection. This being said, it is evident that other people tend to judge her because she is unafraid of achieving her own autonomy, and hence the source of her love and independence conflict.
Hurston, Zora N. Novels and Stories. Library of America, 1995.
Schwarz, Andreas. Their Eyes Were Watching God - Analysis of the Main Conflicts and Some Metaphorical Images of the Novel. 1st ed., GRIN Verlag, 2012.
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