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“Their Eyes Were Watching God” In life to discover our self-identity a person must show others what one thinks or feels and speak his or her mind. Sometimes their opinions may be silenced or even ignored. In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, the main character Janie would sometimes speak her ideas and they would often make a difference. The author, Zora Neale Hurston, gives Janie many chances to speak and she shows the reader outcomes.
When dealing with all of the different people Jaine faced, she would find a way to speak her ideas, receive a response, and through this exchange she developed her sense of self-worth. When Janie found a way to speak her ideas, they would have an impact on everyone. Though, Janie did not always speak her ideas. She would often do something that made an impression on someone. The first real action Janie took was to leave her husband, Logan Killicks.
By doing this, she has shown the community that a person can not always be happy with material things when she or he is not in love. Janie says, “Ah want things sweet wid mah marriage lak when you sit under a pear tree and think.” She shows her grandma that she is not happy with her Janie’s next husband, Joe Starks was very nice to her and gave her everything she wanted. When it came to Janie wanting to talk or speak her mind, he would not let her, and that made her feel like she was less of a person than he.
Until one day, towards the end of their long marriage, when Jody made a very mean comment about Janie’s body. She came back with, “When you pull down yo’ britches, you look lak de change uh life.” After these words came out, Jody hit her. These harsh words could never be forgiven. At the end of their marriage, before Jody died she finally told him her feelings. “….And now you got tuh die tuh find out dat you got tuh pacify somebody besides yo’self if you wants any love and any sympathy in dis world. You ain’t tired to pacify nobody but yo’self. Too busy listening tuh yo’own big voice,” said Janie. Her final and most loved husband was Vergible “Tea Cake” Woods. She could talk most openly with him. Once, she accused Tea Cake of having a liking for Nukie. He quickly reassured her that he didn’t, and there was nothing to be worried about. After Tea Cake’s death, Janie was too upset to wear mourning clothes. She instead wore her normal outfit, overalls and boots. This shows that her love for Tea Cake was so strong that she could not think about anything or anyone but him. Janie received many responses from her family and friends, when she expressed herself. When she was young her grandma hit her for saying that she was not interested in Mr. Killicks, and because she was kissing another boy under the pear tree. At the cost of Jody’s embarrassment, Janie got smacked. There were times when the whole town would not understand her actions,and she would have to some how explain herself to the community. Through speaking her mind to her different husbands, she was able to see who really loved her and was interested in her opinions and ideas. Janie would speak her ideas and, receive a response and through this exchange she developed her sense of self-worth. When she spoke her mind, the people in the town were able to reflect upon what she was saying. Her impact made people see her as more than a simple house wife. Furthermore, when Tea Cake let her participate in the work, it made her feel like she was worth something more than just a wife. Tea Cake had given Janie the self-worth that she needed. He had given her the confidence to pull the whole world onto her shoulders and she found great happiness in his memories. She learned a lot through Tea Cake’s love and she was very happy being with him. Janie’s marriage with Tea Cake was finally like “sitting under a pear tree to just think.”
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