Their Eyes Were Watching God Literary Analysis

Words: 553
Pages: 3

In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston uses metaphor and symbolism throughout to show Janie’s experiences, as she journeys through various marriages to fulfill her hopes and dreams. To Janie, the “horizon” symbolizes her dreams and hopes of a true marriage. The use of Horizon (a recurring image), by Hurston portrays the experiences of the main character, Janie. In the beginning of the novel, Hurston begins by saying that “ships at a distance have every man's wish on board," (Hurston 1). The “ships” metaphorically represents the dreams of the men. Their ships “sail forever on the horizon,” because these men do not do anything to achieve their dreams. Janie is the opposite of men because chases her horizon. Throughout the novel, she searches for her horizon and finds it as she is “pulled in her horizon like a great fish net,” (Hurston 182). She has received peace within herself as she achieves her horizon. Furthermore, Janie derives her thoughts for her horizon at the age of sixteen at …show more content…
As the novel continues, the narrative shifts from the third person to first person singular. This happens when Tea Cake comes into the picture. Tea Cake gives Janie a chance to voice out her opinion, thus the narration shifts from third to first person singular. As compared to Jody, “he did not represent pollen but he spoke of the horizon,” (Hurston 28). Janie’s perception ( good marriage and horizon) changes as he takes control over Janie and does not give her a chance to speak or voice out her opinion. When Jody slaps Janie,“something fell off the shelf inside her,” (Hurston 67) and she felt all her hopes and dreams of a good marriage were shattered when the “image of Jody tumbled,” (Hurston 67).An example of how Janie finds her voice is after the death of Jody. This is when she has a free conversation with Pheoby without being interrupted by the