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Comparison Of "Their Eyes Were Watching God" And "Winesburg, Ohio"

907 words - 4 pages

"Their Eyes Were Watching God" and "Winesburg, Ohio" Both Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio provide great examples of community, although there are stark differences in the way the two respective authors present them. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, the main character Janie moves to the town of Eatonville, Florida with her second husband Jody Starks. The move was to flee her arranged first marriage to a man that she did not love, and also gain some stature in a community.The "All-Negro town" of Eatonville is Jody's dream. It turns out to be a big disappointment to him though, and he takes on the responsibility of building and leading the town. This preoccupation causes Joe to slowly but surely lose interest in his wife and become overbearing towards her. Janie finds that Jody is no more interested in letting her speak than Logan Killicks: "...mah wife don't know nothin' "˜bout no speech-makin'. Ah never married her for nothin' lak dat. She's uh woman and her place is in de home" (41).Sherwood Anderson presents his fictional middle-America town of Winesburg through inter-connected short stories. The character of Winesburg Eagle journalist George Willard in these stories is the bond.On the surface, Winesburg is a functional town that could be perceived as an example of an American dream community. Anderson proves this idea wrong in presenting the characters as lonely "“ and feeling a part of nothing. Many envision life in the big cities (such as Chicago) as superior, and some have made plans to leave.In "Adventure," Alice Hindman wished to travel (unmarried) to Cleveland with her lover, but at his request remains in Winesburg and never hears from him again. After over a decade of waiting, she has the realization that he will never come for her: "(Hindman) began trying to force herself to face bravely the fact that many people must live and die alone, even in Winesburg" (102). Parallels can be drawn between Janie and residents of Winesburg such as Hindman and Louise Bentley. All are searching for love, and more importantly "“ a purpose in life and their differing communities. Through trial and error Janie does find love in her third husband Tea Cake, but ironically is forced to kill him in self-defense after a rabid dog bites him. Despite the tragic turn of events towards the end of...

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