Women Face Challenges and Difficulties in their Lives
How they face them determines the outcome and whether they overcome them. There are two books that give us an example of the challenges women face with gender issues and inequality. Their Eyes Were Watching God was written by Zora Neale Hurston in 1937 and The Color Purple was written by Alice Walker in 1982. In Their Eyes Were Watching God there’s a strong independent woman that spends most of her life in loveless relationships for security. She is raised by her grandmother because her mother abandoned her as a baby. Her grandmother makes her marry a much older man when she was young for financial security. He owned a 60 acre potato farm. That first marriage did not last long. Then she was married to the mayor of a town for twenty years but did not find the love and respect she was looking for. Finally she finds someone she loves but their marriage doesn’t last long. Her third husband died too soon. Finally she learns to love herself and becomes a strong independent woman. In The Color Purple, a young girl is basically born into a life of work because she has a sickly mother, abusive father and a lot of siblings. She takes on hard situations and relations throughout her life. She had to be strong to survive. Both stories span a period of approximately forty years. They are both based on the lives of African American women.
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, the main character is Janie Mae Crawford learns about life and who she is as a person through her relationships. In the story, Janie is telling her best friend in Eatonville about the relationships she’s had in her lifetime. Years of looking for love beginning with her grandmother who raised her, her first husband who her grandmother thought would give her security. There was her marriage to the mayor for 20 years in which she seeked love and respect. It was a long time to be in a relationship where he didn’t respect or value her. He provided a title and financial security. The final one was Tea Cake who loved her but sadly it doesn’t last long and she returns to her hometown. After all the challenges and difficulties she found the love she hoped for.
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In The Color Purple, the main character is Celie. Her life begins very difficult. Still a child of 14 she is caring for her siblings because her mother is ill. Her father also has raped her and she write letters to God asking why she is going through all of it. Her choice is to accept her father’s abuse to spare her sick mother. Her mother passes away when she was fifteen and she finds out she is pregnant again. It was devastating because even though she goes through the abuse by her father in order to help care for her mom, her mother dies and both of her children get taken from her. In this way she faces more loss. One she fears her father killed and the other she thinks he sold. Celie fears for her sister but her father finds a young wife. Celie’s encourages her sister Nettie to study when she sees her in a relationship that she knows won’t be good for her. She fears men and looks for love from women. She is given to an unloved relationship by her father, who turns out to actually be her stepfather. She continues searching for love.
In both books, we see how the women face challenges and difficulties in their lifetimes. They sometimes agree to be in relationships and negative situations feeling like there’s not much of a choice. They are unloved, disrespected and sometimes abused. These relationships are toxic. I believe what they went through life looking for was love. The author make reference to a woman’s life in Their Eyes are Watching God in the statement “Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.” (Hurston 1) We all face challenges in life and decisions we makes will determine the outcome.
In Their Eyes are Watching God, Janie, an African American woman who finally knows herself is describing what she has gone through to get there. We learn of her grandmother who raised her. The feelings she felt because she was abandoned by her mother. This feeling of needing to feel loved and secure would begin her search for true love and security. Her grandmother married her off to a potato farmer. Her grandmother believed that he would be able to be a good husband for Janie and provide her a secure life. Unfortunately there was no love which is the most important part of a marriage to work. Her next marriage was to the mayor Joe Starks. She was married to him for almost twenty years. He provided love but still Janie did not find the love she needed. He was an important man and as his wife she was respected by others but not by Joe. Sadly he never understood what Janie wanted. Janie just wanted to be treated with respect and to feel the love that she has been in search of since she was a little girl.
According to the author of Their Eyes Are Watching God, “Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board’’ (Hurston 1). This quote shows that everyone’s desires and dreams can be seen but are far away. It also shows that everyone can one day reach their happiness. Janie is the main character who becomes motivated to pursue her dreams and to reach them. The author Zora Neale Hurston uses the ship as a symbol of Janie’s dream of a happy life that she can’t reach it. In the beginning of the story Janie’s wants to find out who she is as a person but this will be difficult and her life will be full of obstacles. This quote is related to a lot of people that have lost themselves in the world and had a difficult time reaching their goals or dreams. People have been through trauma like losing the love of their lives or losing their precious parents. This also shows that some people have obstacles to find themselves in life. I’ve been in her shoes being lost in the world not knowing what you’re doing and it just wondering the world to find yourself is hard because most the time you’re alone but if you keep on the path you’ll eventually find yourself and be free of the loneliness and the wandering in the hopeless.
In the book Their Eyes Are Watching God, the author made the following reference to Janie life, “Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman” (Hurston 31). Janie married at sixteen years old begins to learn about being a woman and love or in her case, the lack of it. She realizes getting married to Logan Killicks did not automatically make her love him. This quotation strongly suggests that being disappointed in love is a normal part of becoming a grown woman. Here, the author uses symbolism to show how one of her dreams died and the little girl in her also died. At the end a strong woman finally came out. I can relate to this I’ve been in love with the wrong person thinking she was going to be the best for me and that I could be happy with her. Unfortunately, she was not the one. She always made my life miserable but I really didn’t care because I didn’t want to lose her. After doing soul-searching I finally found myself and I did what was right and I left a toxic relationship to be happy and live my life. I will find someone else better than her. This quote shows how people could be blinded at first but then disappointed but it’s normal for human beings to be disappointed in a relationship they having with a person.
Janie took the opportunity to speak her peace when Joe Starks was dying. Janie finally tells Joe “You done lived wid me for twenty years and you don’t half know me atall”. (Hurton 37). She wanted to express how she’d been feeling all the years she shared with him and didn’t dare to before. Here, the author uses conflict to show how she’s finally speaking for herself and showing she is a woman. This happens a lot of times when someone has little time or no time to tell someone very important in their lives who they are who they really are. When a tragedy happens or from natural causes someone is gone from this world and you wish you would’ve told him before they left this earth something important or something about you that unit found out recently after soul-searching or maybe even an “I love you”.
After Janie’s husband Joe dies, she sells his crossroads store and closes up the home they shared. She is finally free to find herself. Janie falls in love with Tea Cake and follows him to the Everglades. There Janie makes new friends and meets good people in Everglades with Tea Cake. For the first time in her life, Janie is treated with respect by Tea Cake. This is what she’s been looking for. Janie’s other husbands never showed her respect she wanted. Tea Cake understood her and listened to Janie and they were both lovers and friends. Janie had finally found true love and was finally happy but that happiness didn’t last. Janie and Tea Cake were happily married for about eighteen months when Tea Cake becomes ill and dies. Janie goes back to Eatonville a few weeks after his death because she can bear to be in Everglades without him. No matter how many friends she had there she missed him too much. The book tells how she tells her friend, Pheoby of her life in an evening together. She had ups and downs but sound grateful that she had lived.
In the book The Color Purple by Alice Walker, the main character Celie writes letters to God asking God for help to get her through her painful life. She tells God through her letters that she is pregnant with her father’s second child through rape. Her mom is very sickly, weak and eventually dies. Celie is alone with her siblings and her abusive father. She faces the challenge of protecting herself from her father’s sexual abuse. Celia must also face the challenge of protecting her little sister from her father’s sexual abuse. Celine’s father makes a deal with a older widower that had four kids and marries her off to Mister. She is married to a man and has to raise his children. Her husband Mister beats and rapes her. Unfortunately her situation is just as bad as with her father. He has a blues singer as his mistress. Celie was impressed by the type of woman Shug was. Through the years she is an important part of her life and a bond forms between them.
Celie faces many challenges in her life, in her childhood she was raped by her father. In the books shows how she was raped. She feels threatened by her father to not tell nobody that she was getting viciously raped. She also thought it was a normal thing because that’s all she knows. Celie says “Just say what your mammy wouldn’t. First he put his thing up against my hip and sort of wiggle it around. Then he grab hold my titties. Then he push his thing inside my pussy. When that hurt, I cry. He start to choke me, saying you better shut up and git used to it… and now i feels sick every time I be the one to cook.” (Walker 1). This shows how she faces many challenges throughout her life. How her father conditions her to being okay getting raped. How her childhood was destroyed because of her father. But she still was strong. She fought through it all because she was a strong women and made it at the end. This can relate to a lot of people because there too scared to say anything of fear for their lives. Like the author of Drown Junot Diaz where he was sadly raped for a year and said something now because of fear. (Diaz) Here the author uses conflict to show how Celie was raped by her father and was dehumanized and how he tells her to prepare herself that it’s not the end of it. Celie talks about how men are looking at Shug and this quote shows this . “All the men got they eyes glued to Shug’s bosom. I got my eyes glued there too. I feel my nipples harden under my dress. My little button sort of perk up too. Shug, I say to her in my mind, girl, you looks like a real good time, the Good Lord knows you do.” (Walker 82) This quote shows how Shug been thru a lot and still has control of men at the end. Her childhood wasn’t the best she faced many challenges. She found a way to have men do whatever she wants and not hurt her anymore. This is really related in this world how people can control their partners and do bad or good. They use them sometimes for bad reasons. But sometimes they don’t use it for bad. Here, the author uses characterization to show how Celie is watching men look at shug’s butt and how she’s feeling her body change. Women face challenges and difficulties in their lives. How they face them determines the outcome. Some of these challenges start very young in their lives they may not have the best family situation in their childhood. Adolescence is a hard period for some because it is the change from teenager to womanhood. Then as a women more work and care for a family.
My thesis connects to Their Eyes were Watching God because Janie was a young woman that was married at sixteen because of her grandmother. She made her marry a guy she didn’t love. It was a difficulty for her as a young woman. A sixteen year old had to get married with a man not with the love of her life. She went through all that struggle. She still made it through as a strong woman that proves my thesis a young woman that had to marry a man she didn’t love but still found herself at the end. Women face challenges and difficulties in their lives. How they face them determines the outcome is what both my books show how they both have to deal with there challenges but and thanks to their difficulties and challenges there was a outcome in there life.
My thesis, “Women face challenges and difficulties in their lives. How they face them determines the outcome” connects to the color purple when Celie is forced to sow and nothing else. That shows how they made her like a slave and not her do anything else. But this did shape her and instead of her hating it she used it. She made that into a skill. Shows how the challenge had its outcome. My thesis connects to a lot of women in this world. I know many women that have been through a lot and they stronger than a lot of men I know i have much respect for them. Especially my mother she’s the strongest person I know, she’s never scared. She’ll fight anybody if she has to, no running or giving up for her because of her past she dealt with many men. Those challenges made her what she is today, very strong and a boss in Social Security. Nobody can tell her what to do. She worked very hard for that and probably went through a lot to be there. That’s why my thesis “Women face challenges and difficulties in their lives. How they face them determines the outcome” connects to the world.