Essay on Their Eyes were Watching God

Submitted By kendelgrant
Words: 1791
Pages: 8

Question 1: Throughout the novel, you are entranced into the life of Janie; an inspiring woman who we see overcome many obstacles and hardships in her life in order to find herself and the life she has wanted since the day she contemplated marriage underneath a blossoming pear tree. The comments; both positive and negative, that Janie makes allowed me to feel as if I were right along side Janie living through all the ups and downs she encountered while simply riding what some may call, "the roller coaster of life". Take the very beginning of the novel for example. Without any prior knowledge, I was introduced to what seemed to be an awful town with nasty town folks who sit on some porch passing judgment on a girl who they had once previously known. Hurston; the author of the novel, uses words such as, "tongueless, conveniences, and brutes" to establish a very sullen manner of living amongst the town. Not soon after though, we find out that as the, "sun and bossman" retreat, this oh so sullen town awakens into a more, "powerful, and human" community. We are no longer reading about a dead town. We are witnessing the so called, "lords" of town sitting on their porch as they awaken from their tongueless and earless slumber only to pass judgment upon Janie as she re-enters this cold and bitter town. Hurston also uses the words, "envy and stored up" which allows us to further understand that somewhere along the line, Janie was once better than all of those who are now overly opinionated towards Janie. But what allowed their envy to be, "chewed up...and swallowed with relish?" Why is this woman who was once looked up to now being stomped on by, "burning statements and mass cruelty?" Those are the questions that I believe Hurston is trying to plant in the back of your mind only to later evolve them later as you read more into Janie's journey to finding love. There are many things that the author may be trying to say in this passage and I believe it is up to the reader to decide. As for me and my opinion, I believe Hurston is trying to tell us that even when you have it all; whether it be money, a job, or the perfect family that everyone envies. You have to ask yourself, "have I made it to my horizon?" The author makes it very clear through her tone and choice of words that these town folks have a lot of stored jealousy towards the life Janie once had. I say once because Janie is no longer that woman. Something about Janie changed that allowed the town's previous longing of her life vanish and deplete the moment they saw her walking back into town. I also believe that Janie in a way symbolizes the ship mentioned in the first line of the novel and by having her come back to town as if she were swept back in, "with the tide" we are given a hint regarding the ending of the novel since we later learn that Janie loses her love and has to restart the journey to her horizon where she may, "sail forever”. Through it all, I believe that Hurston is trying to say that no matter what people think and say about you and your life, you have to give it your all and do whatever it takes to make yourself happy because in the end, the only person you can to rely on to reach your "horizon" is yourself.

Question 2: Most books are told solely in a third-person or first-person narrative accompanied with dialogue between characters allowing the reader to further understand the scene. If many great readers who indulge in literature are able to comprehend books with only a few types of narrative language, the use of third-person, literary narration and colloquial dialogue narration all in a single book simply provides a deeper insight into the story being shared. Throughout the novel, I was not only taken inside the personal thoughts and feelings of Janie as she searched for herself but I also had the opportunity to view her life through a third-person narrative which provided both an outside voice on the events throughout the book as well as…