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The Silent Voice Of The Mule

866 words - 4 pages

Voice can be regarded as an expression that can be used to measure the innate strength of one self and their degree of freedom. With voice being seen as power, silence is seen as its complete opposite, portraying weakness and restraint. However, this interpretation of silence is proven otherwise in the popular novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston as the main protagonist Janie desires to have a voice of power but instead remains silent during imperative events that happen in her life. The path of the silence can be traced through the role it plays throughout the entirety of the novel as it begins with the purpose of symbolizing a lack of freedom such as with Janie’s ...view middle of the document...

Later in the novel, Janie ditches Logan as her husband and marries a man named Jody. Janie made a premonition that she and Jody would be a good couple but that proved to be false after several incidents of mistreatment. During these incidents, Janie would remain quiet as shown, “He wanted her submission and he’d keep on fighting until he felt he had it. So gradually, she pressed her teeth together and learned to hush” (Hurston 71). In particular, Janie’s desire to speak her voice out against her uncaring husband’s ill actions are left conserved within her. The silence here portrays weakness in her desire of voice but strength in her tolerance. However, the resulting change in role into a mild strength to suppress her feelings are feeble at best as she does not receive what she intended and as a result, Janie lacks the liberty she wants in her marriage. All things considered, based upon the actions shown by Janie, the role of silence advanced from its state of weakness to a lack of liberty.
As the novel nears the ending, Janie decides to marry a man named Tea Cake. Tea Cake asserts his dominance over her by whipping her to which Janie remains passively silent about. Janie was proven to be silent because in the conversation between Sop-de-Bottom and Tea Cake Sop says, “Lawd! Wouldn’t Ah love tuh whip uh tender woman lak Janie! Ah bet she don’t even holler. She jus’...

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