Their Eyes Were Watching God Analysis Essay

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Pages: 4

A Woman’s Journey to Self-discovery “She had waited all her life for something.” This quote is significant because it epitomizes the struggle of a woman to reach self-actualization. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston juxtaposes opposing places to emphasize the experience gained by the novel’s protagonist, Janie, in each respective location, and to emphasize the effect of that environment on Janie’s journey to attain her dreams. Through this comparison, the author explores the idea of living and experiencing life as a means of self-discovery. Moreover, Hurston expresses another theme central to the novel’s understanding. This particular theme denounces the belief that achieving life experience should always involve …show more content…
In spite of this, Janie truly enjoys her new environment. While living in “de muck” Janie and Tea Cake become central figures in the community; they become so popular with the other residents that “the house was full of people every night” (Hurston 127). Janie’s new environment provides her with the freedom that she searched for her entire life. Instead of garish dresses, Janie wears overalls, and she allows her hair to flow untamed in the wind. Moreover, Janie no longer experiences the same constraints that plagued her life in Eatonville; this can be attributed to the treatment that Janie receives from Tea Cake. Unlike Janie’s previous husbands, Janie love is actually reciprocated by Tea Cake. Tea Cake’s fervent adoration is displayed when he begins leaving the fields early because he “gits lonesome” (Hurston 126). While in the Everglades, it seems as though Janie is finally content with her life and the person that she has become; however, tragedy strikes, and interrupts the fantasy. After a hurricane decimates the community and Tea Cake dies, Janie no longer holds the Everglades in the same esteem. Despite the misfortune that is brought about following the hurricane, the event allows Janie to determine who she is, when her fulfillment is not dependent upon another person. Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God portrays a woman’s independent journey to experience life, and in the process discover herself as a person, and as a woman. The