Their Eyes Were Watching God One of the main themes in Their Eyes Were Watching God was Janie's search for unconditional, true, and heart filling love. She experiences different kinds of love throughout her life. As a result Janie gains her own independence and learns how to adapt and live on her own, which makes her a very important person and it also plays a major part in the novel. Because Janie tries to live up to for own independence, the other people in the village like to judge her a lot because of her past and because she is independent enough to achieve whatever she wants to achieve.
Throughout Their Eyes Were Watching God Janie looks for the love that she has always wanted. Janie wanted the love that was between a bee and a blossom on the pear tree that was in her Nanny’s backyard. Only after feeling other kinds of love does Janie finally gain the love like that between the bee and the blossom. After experiencing that love she wants something better than that and looks harder for it but cannot seem to come across it. Janie experiences many types of love throughout her life. With her nanny, her caring grandmother Janie experiences the kind of love that is protective because she never knew her mother and father. That is another reason why she is so independent. Janie’s nanny really wants Janie to have a way better life than she had before so nanny will do and try everything for Janie to have that. Nanny will even go as far as arranging a marriage for Janie even though she wouldn’t want to. The man Nanny wants her to get married too is a man named Logan Killicks. If Janie was to get married to Logan she would feel and experience the same kind of protective love like how nanny loves her because Logan makes her feel safe and secure. But for some reason Janie does not want Logan’s love. It is not the kind of love Janie is looking for.
Joe Starks provides Janie with an escape from the protective and unsatisfying love of Logan. Joe is a man that loves to be in power he only feels happy when he is in control of the situation. Janie feels for the first time in her life that she may be able to find true love with this man who wants her to be treated like a lady, rather than as a subservient farmer's wife. After being married just a short time Janie realizes that she is once again missing the love that she has wanted his whole life. The love that Janie experiences with Joe is a possessive love. Joe views Janie as his possession. Joe looks at Janie like the ideal mayor’s wife or a trophy wife. He expects Janie to follow his orders, and listen and do whatever he asks. Joe forbids Janie to interact with the porch sitters or to play checkers on the porch of the crossroads store. Janie feels trapped by Joes love. His love doesn’t allow her to grow as a person and more as a wife. Joe is also afraid to lose her too.
When Joe died, Janie finally meets the man who represents the true love of her life. That man is Tea Cake Woods. He arrives in Eatonville as a fun and loving man who falls for Janie's beauty and loving personality. Although Janie fears that she is too old for Tea Cake, she cannot help but fall in love with him. Janie leaves behind everything that she has ever known. Janie no longer has to be independent on her. She now relies on Tea Cake. She adores him, as he adores her. After moving to the Everglades with Tea Cake, she embraces this new life and she finds new friends and makes peace with them. Finally, Janie has found the love like that between the bee and its blossom. She declares that Tea Cake could be a "bee to a blossom a pear tree blossom in the spring."
In Janie’s search for love and in the troubles she had to go through, Janie gains independence. Janie's independence begins to grow more and more in the book. She holds a little bit of independence when she finally gains the courage to leave and let go of her marriage with Logan in order to go with Joe Starks. As Joe treats