Janie’s Three Marriages

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Updated: May 10, 2021
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“Janie’s three marriages are key to her improvement and to the plot of Their Eyes Were Watching God. How do the guys and marriages fluctuate from one another? What does Janie gain from every experience? Janie, the protagonist of Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, is frequently identified as a feminist character. While she is certainly an independent girl who believes in the equality of the sexes, Janie does not lead a commonly feminist existence at some point of the novel. Largely because of her relationships with the three key men in her life, Janie is often beatendown, silenced, ignored, marginalized, and even bodily abused. Yet it is these episodes of disempowerment that beef up Janie’s feminist identity. She suffers at the fingers of Logan, Jody, and Tea Cake, however she emerges from eachmarriage more suitable and extra certain of her own identity. Paradoxically, the instances in her existence all through which she can’t be a feminist are what sooner or later make Janie an exemplar of feminist strength.

Janie marries Logan Killicks, her first husband, no longer because she wishes to be with him, but because she wants to please her grandmother and hopes that she will research to love Logan eventually. Janie’s choice to marry Logan is now not illogical, however it is a capitulation. Rather than following her instincts and insisting on holding her independence, Janie defers to the needs of others. Her marriage brings more forced capitulations. Logan, a well-meaning however oppressive man, wants to preserve Janie below his thumb. He calls her spoiled and insists that she labor in the fields alongside him. In addition to this tried bodily oppression, Janie suffers from the emotional oppression of being trapped in a affectionless marriage. But if capitulation and oppression represent Janie’s first marriage, it is precisely these conditions that give Janie the braveness to pass town. Because she is so fed up with Logan and his domineering ways, Janie musters up the courage to leave at the back of the solely home she has ever known—something she almost clearly would nothave performed had she no longer married Logan in the first place.

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Janie’s relationship with her second husband, Jody Starks, is extra full-size and complex than her relationship with Logan. It is also extra damaging. Jody, who is effective and charming, imposes more and more strict needs on his wife. He does no longer allow her to talk in public to massive groups; he dislikes it when she socializes with different men; he insists that she cover her lovelyhair; he berates her when he believes that she is performing badly at work; and when he is enraged, he beats her. Those readers searching for evidence of Janie’s unflagging feminism would possibly be dismayed through Janie’s willingness to put up with Jody. Despite flashes of rebellion, for the most partshe behaves like the subservient spouse Jody wants her to be. For years, she follows his orders, silences herself, and sticks around after he hits her. In Chapter 8, however, Hurston indicates that Janie’s struggling has imbued her with top notch power. When she sooner or later gives voice to her thoughtsand tells Jody what she thinks of him, he dies, as if brought down with the aid of the force of her rage. Years of mistreatment give Janie the strength to fell guys with her words. They additionally give her an outsized perception for her freedom. Because she is aware of what it capacity to be ground down via a man, Janie appreciates her single lifestyles a long way greater than she shouldhave had she never experienced actual unhappiness.

With Tea Cake, Janie enjoys a pleasing relationship characterized byintellectual, emotional, and physical compatibility. Tea Cake is no longer just a excellent suit for Janie. He is additionally proof of the self-knowledge that can result from difficult and demeaning circumstances. Only due to the fact Janie suffered thru two terrible marriages can she comprehend that Tea Cake is the right man for her. Despite the happiness Janie feels with Tea Cake, Hurston makes it clear that she has no longer determined an best man. Tea Cake disappears. He gambles. He hosts raucous parties with money stolen from Janie. He flirts with other women. He even beats Janie in order to prove that he controls her. Janie’s relationship with Tea Cake is difficult and perplexing. Hurston forces us to acknowledge that notwithstanding Tea Cake’s severaflaws, Janie is sincerely joyful with him. Further, Hurston makes it not possibleto argue that Janie has regressed, turning back into the meek creature she used to be with Logan and Jody. Janie’s willingness to shoot and kill Tea Cake in order to keep herself, and the peace she achieves at the end of the novel, prove that she has stepped forward and received energy and independence.

Hurston continuously interrogates the conventional knowledge about what it ability to be a strong, profitable woman. By giving her protagonist three husbands, and with the aid of ending her novel with Janie on my own and content, she suggests that happiness does not constantly involve one husband, children, and a settled existence. And via portraying the bursts of independence that comply with Janie’s episodes of subservience, she argues that awesome electricity is on occasion the direct end result of real weak point.”

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Janie’s Three Marriages. (2021, May 10). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/janies-three-marriages/