There are many themes represented by Zora Neale Hurston in her Novel Their Eyes Were Watching God which include love, many biased opinions that were common in the time the novel takes place,
Love is a major theme in this novel because the main character Janie’s ultimate goal in her life is an ideal romantic relationship. “She saw a dust bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight.” (Hurston 11) This experience under the pear tree makes her idea of love become unrealistic and sets a high standard for the men that are going to be part of her life. “The vision of Logan Killicks was desecrating the pear tree but Janie didn’t know how to tell nanny that. She merely hunched over and pouted at the floor.” (Hurston. 14). Janie’s idea of love is set when she had her experience under he pear tree ...view middle of the document...
When her love is restored after she meets Teacake it is like she has gone back in time to live her younger years. Another part of the theme of love is innocence which is closely intertwined with idealism, youth, and virginity. In the novel, there is a hint that womanhood and innocence can not exist together. ”"Janie!" The old woman’s voice was so lacking in command and reproof, so full of crumbling dissolution, that Janie half believed that Nanny had not seen her. So she extended herself outside of her dream and went inside of the house. That was the end of her childhood” (Hurston 19) this passage shows that Janie who just kissed a boy and lost her innocence and gained her womanhood. Jealousy is also a theme that is intertwined with love. Jealousy is cruel and it affects all people including men, women and communities “"She ain’t even worth talkin’ after," Lulu Moss drawled through her nose. "She sits high, but she looks low. Dat’s what Ah say ‘bout dese ole women runnin’ after young boys." “ (Hurston. 3) Lulu Moss is jealous of the attention that Janie is getting and she claims that Janie is not worth talking about. She does this to try and take away from Janie’s image. In the novel jealousy creates the desire to hurt or desecrate the reason for jealousy. This jealousy can be expressed in many ways including verbal abuse. “Dere wuz uh knotty head gal name Mayrella dat useter git mad every time she look at me. ... Den they’d tell me not to be takin’ on over mah looks ‘cause they mama told ‘em ‘bout de hound dawgs huntin’ mah papa all night long."(Hurston.9) Mayrella is jealous of Janie because she is pretty and has nice clothes. She tries to use these things against Janie by saying that it does not matter because they know about the hound dogs that chased her dad. Jealousy can also be expressed through, straight out lies, excluding the object or person that caused the jealousy and sometimes through physical violence. In the novel jealousy is sometimes not made known but it can be inferred that a character is jealous by the hostile terms the author uses with the character. Jealousy is also shown to strip someone of their humanity and reason, which gives them more animalistic tendencies.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel. New York: Perennial Library, 1990. Print.