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Janie's Quest Essay

1308 words - 6 pages

Finding one’s soul mate is a difficult and lengthy process for most, as it is for Janie in the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. She marries Logan Killicks, Joe Starks, and Tea Cake Woods who seem to be alike; however, the motives for the actions they each take are completely different.
All three husbands are similar in the way that they all have expectations of Janie as a wife. Logan Killicks, Janies first husband, has expectations of Janie. His motives for his expectations though, are because he wants her to help out on the farm. Logan shows this expectation by saying, “ Naw Ah needs two mules dis yeah. Taters is goin’ tuh be taters in de fall. Bringin’ big prices. Ah aims tuh run two plows, and dis man Ah’m talkin’ ‘bout is got uh mule all gentled up so even uh woman kin handle ‘im” (21). He has the idea that Janie can work with him, Logan makes her carry wood to the house, cut seeds from potatoes, and even move piles of manure. In the same way, Joe Starks expects much from Janie as well. He is motivated by improving his image however, by making Janie Mrs. Mayor Starks she is now Joe’s eye candy. His vision for being a big voice is mainly in Janie’s perfect looks, like in this quote that states, “ Everybody was coming sort of fixed up, and he didn’t mean for nobody else’s wife to rank with her” (34). He expected Janie to be his trophy wife and just look better than everyone else. Tea Cake Woods’ expectations of Janie as a wife is the same as well. He had a different approach on it though, all Tea Cake wanted is for Janie to be his equal and nothing more. His motivation, is love. Tea Cake loves Janie and the way he expresses this is when he says, “Put dat two hundred back wid de rest, Janie. Mah dice. Ah no need no assistance tuh help me feed mah woman. From now on, you goin tuh eat whutever man money can buy you and wear de same” (100). He does not expect much from Janie just for her to be his wife and nothing more. All these reasons explain why these three men expect things from Janie even though their motivations for doing so is completely different.
Another way all three husbands are similar is when they abuse her. Logan is motivated by his pure dislike of Janie. At first he did love her, but a month or so after he began to treat Janie like a labor slave and tries to threaten her and make her miserable. An example is when he says, Don’t you change too many words wid me dis mawnin’, Janie, do Ah’ll take and change ends wid yuh! Heah, Ah just as good as take you out de white folks’ kitchen and set you down on yo’ royal diasticutis and you take and low-rate me! Ah’ll take holt uh dat ax and come in dere and kill yuh! You better dry up in dere! Ah’m too honest and hard-workin’ for anybody in yo’ family, dat’s de reason you don’t want me!” (25). He shows no real feelings toward her and somewhat loathes her. Similarly, Joe Starks abuses Janie as well, but he does so for control over her. Joe feels very threatened and...

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