Hi,I have a completed paper that needs to be edited a bit. It is for the book Their Eyes Were Watching God. I need 2 criteria that needs to be edited.1. Some of the parts of the paper have dates and names in paranthesis in the text. I need to have more additions of such dates and names throughout the paper.2. I need to use more textual evidence and quotes from the book to add to the essay.
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Janies Marriages: Their Eyes Were Watching God
Marriage is very common in many cultures. It is present in all hemisphereswestern and
eastern alike. Marriage between a man and a woman is looked at as a way to have children.
Marriage between a man and a woman is looked at as a way to achieve personal fulfillment.
Many couples, however, have different ideas of marriages. Some couples have traditional ideas
about marriage. Other couples have non-traditional ideas about marriage. In the book Their Eyes
Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, the author presents marriage as an equal partnership
between a man and woman. The is a theme and gift of the novel.
Janie and Marriage
The story of Janie begins when she shows resistance to marriage by kissing a boy she
chose on her own. Her act of kissing him was her own plan, not her grandmothers As
punishment, Janie is slapped and is later forced to marry Logan Killicks. Therefore, from this
story, there is an element of resistance that accompanied her marriages and differentiates it from
her independence. This was the beginning of Janies entry into life. However, her grandmother
wanted her to be dependent on her husband to have a better life. it did not mean that she was
reconciling with the innate violence that life threw at her. Being dependent on a husband was a
form of submission that her grandmother respected.
Janies idea of marriage comes from laying under a pees tree one lay late spring
afternoon. It is a way important scene:
She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto
chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the
breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing
bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to
meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest
branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was a
marriage! She had been summoned to behold a revelation. (13)
This scene reveals how Janie comes to view marriage. It is a partnership when both.
Partnership both man partners. This is what Janie wants for herself. Will her future
marriages be like the birds and bees she sees.
Janie finds ways to resist the marriage to Logan Killicks by resisting the verbal abuse.
Janie protested her grandmother’s proposal but later agreed to marry Logan Killicks, Probably
because her grandmother did not give her a choice:
Nanny, whowho dat been askin you for me?
`Brother Logan Killicks. Hes a good man, too.
Naw, Nanny, no maam! Is dat whut he been hangin round here for? He
look like some ole skullhead in de grave yard.
The older woman sat bolt upright and put her feet to the floor, and thrust
back the leaves from her face. (16)
So you dont want to marry off decent like, do yuh? You just wants to hug and kiss
and feel around with first one man and then another, huh?
Nonetheless, Janie still had the ideal and perfect view about marriage and was committed to
making her husband happy after marriage even though she did not love him. To her surprise,
marriage was not ideal, and was verbally abused by ? her husband. However, she resisted , unlike
when her grandmother slapped her. This conditional violence is not justified or deemed fair, but
it implied increased participation in life in a mythical world. Logan went to a point where he
threatened to kill her just because she disobeyed him. Janie could not take any more abuse and
decided to leave Logan for a confident, ambitious and elegant man; Joe Starks. For the first time,
Janie was surrounded by a community since her husband became the first mayor in a black
community. However, Joe forbids her from participating and indulging in the activities of the
community. He is the first husband to Janie. Her marriage to Logan came as a punishment for
kissing Johnny Taylor over the fence of her backyard. Regardless of this, Janie was focused on
bringing up a family and taking care of her family despite the absence of love in her marriage.
Logan is not that much of a pleasant man. While Janie is young, Logan is old and unattractive.
Janie sometimes despises his behavior of not washing his feet before joining her in bed. His feet
are seen to always be smelly. From her explanation, Logan is an unattractive man. He does not
know how to speak to his wife at all even when they are just the two of them.
Nanny and Marriages
Nanny believe if Janie gets married, she will love her husband with over time, but Janie believe
marriage leads to love. Nanny was although she had faults, she sincerely believed a husband
would be a good provider for Janie. She believed that Janie needed support and commitment, and
she did not need to be in love with her husband in the beginning, but would love him eventually.
Nannys beliefs are the opposite of Janies. Janie believed that love would come first, and then a
fulfilling marriage. Nannys hopes for Janies future. Nanny needs for Janie to have a man to
help her achieve her dreams.
Community and Marriages
Janie had three marriages. She lived with three men in her life and three communities. Janie
sacrificed many things in order for her marriages and her communities to be successful. With
Logan Killicks, she sacrificed her youth; with Jody Starks, she sacrificed her voice, and with Tea
Cake she sacrificed her safety.
Logan Killicks and Marriage
Janie thought that marriage would be fun, but that character might not represent his first
husband. When the marriage was new, Logan tries to speak sweet words which turn out to be
actually nothing. He later replaces that with anger and a lot of frustrations towards his wife. In
his mind, Logans idea of marriage seems one of commands and demands rather than one of
compassion and teamwork. He believes that his wife should worship him for making her the
owner of a 60-acre piece of land. This is the kind of perspective held by the old man towards his
Joe Starks and Marriage
Janie also finds ways to resist the verbal and physical abuse from her second husband,
Joe Starks. Joe Starks is Janies second husband. Joe is seen as a man of charisma when it comes
to his good characters. Apart from that, Joe is very egocentric and has a superiority complex
when it comes to matters concerning him and his wife. He is also seen not to be very good at
communication between him and his wife. He is over-ambitious in his endeavors and quite
jealous over his wife leaving him very overprotective when it comes to Janie.
Janie gets attracted to Joe from his charismatic character which he frequently displays.
Little did Janie know that there would be more than that which meets the eye. Joe is seen to be
overconfident in the sense that everything in his world revolves around him. He always looks
sharp not for any other reason but because he thinks that he is superior to other people.
Everything he does and says has nothing to do with the good of others or even his wife but that
of himself and his manliness.
Joe relates his right of being born a man to that of owning power. He believes that the
right is his to decide how the town will be and who will live where at what time. Joe thinks that
he gets to decide upon the people that their opinions might count. Some people, according to Joe
are higher than others and others are lower than others. He is compared to the white slave
masters by the people of the town. Joe is quite confident in his endeavors. However, he views
people, especially women, as objects and nothing more. He cherishes his wife as a trophy wife
but as a mere possession. He thinks that women are something to be owned rather than viewing
them as people. Janie does not realize this at first but with time, as Joe becomes older, she
realizes that his perspective of a woman is quite different. He thinks that women have no brains
or rights. Janie then gets the courage to tell her husband of his mistakes but he dies cursing her
out from his pride (Hurston, 1937). It is essential for Janie to come to terms with the abuse that
marriage has to offer. Joe was verbally abusing her in front of his audience and one day Janie
decided to humiliate him too before an audience. It is a coincidence that the same day that Janie
decided to humiliate her husband is the same day that he died. For this death to come to pass, it
was essential for Janie to take part in resisting the abuse. The magnitude and intensity of abuse
Janie expresses Janie increases and this are clear that she is coming to terms with the fact that she
needs to defend herself from the world.
Tea Cake and Marriage
Her third husband Tea Cake seems to be her true love, but Janie also show resistance to as well.
him through his efforts of making her feel special and equal to him. The previous men in her life
had been treating her as if she was lesser than them yet Tea treated her as a partner. He even
taught her how to play checkers. To Janie, it was not much about the checkers game but the
effort Tea put in to try to make her feel equal to him: that she was valued and that she was very
special to him. Tea wins over her heart by portraying the modern traits of a woman which simply
state that a man and a woman is both equal
Another instance in which Janie shows resistance is in her decision to kill Teacake.
Violence culminates when she shots Tea Cake and her participation in life is shown when he
teaches her to be extremely violent by coercing her to kill him. His death was symbolic of Janie’s
participation and union with life. The brutal rite of Tea Cake can be used to signify the
reconciliation between the sensibilities of human beings and the conditions of life. In the end,
Janie is back in her bedroom in Eatonville as she reviews the events of her life.
Teacake is seen to convince Janie to work in the Everglades fields alongside his new
husband yet Janie had refused to work in her previous relationships. Her previous marriages
were forceful and work meant hard labor or being used to prove a point. With Teacake, the
reason for the request to work together was simply so that he could spend more time with her. He
did not force her to it in any manner whatsoever and Janie agreed with no opposition.
Teacakeis seen as a great listener and a talker. These go against the character traits of her
previous husbands. Teacake and Janie simple talk out their problems and solve them like a
couple should. He takes the time to listen attentively to his wife and the wife does the same when
need be. They constantly remind each other of their love in order to keep their relationship
strong. This, in turn, strengthens the relationship between the two. However, Teacake is seen in a
couple of occasions to possess pride. When he is warned of an oncoming hurricane, he refuses to
leave the Everglades. After he got rabies from the dog, he is seen to refuse treatment even when
he needs it most. The disease takes a hold of him when he starts acting through jealousy over
Janie but he dies later. Her story with Tea Cake finished because she was not going to be a
victim of his abuse, even if he was unaware of what he was doing.
In conclusion, resistance was a large theme in Their Eyes Were Watching God and
showed in many acts in Janies life. Janie resisted in many ways, as seen in her marriages, when
she came back to the same place, even in the way she dressed when she came back to Eatonville,
and how she chose not to talk to anyone but Pheoby. At the end of her journey, Janie decided to
return back to Eatonville (Hurston, May,1937). She came to same place. And she looks proud
and confident. Janie did not talk to the other community people about her life except Pheoby.
Janie discovered marriage did not make love.
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