Their Eyes Were Watching Janie Essay

1470 words - 6 pages

People, places, and actions can all have impacts on a person as an individual. Everything said, viewed, and heard may be seen as unimportant but can affect what we believe and what we learn. Janie has learned that with what she first believed being in loved meant and entitles. As she grew up and mature with the wisdom she learned the truth. In what love is what it entitle, on how her husband should act, and how she should be able to identify her dreams and not just see her husband’s. In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie’s relationship with Jody and Tea Cake impacts Janie as an individual through their control over her, through what they represented to her, and through the ways ...view middle of the document...

She was in favor of the story that was making him laugh before she even heard it”(94). The fact that they first just started by playing checkers and getting to know each other showed how different this relationship was from the beginning. Janie’s first impression of Jody and Tea Cake shows how she chose these relationships for different reasons.
During the time Janie is in the relationships with Jody and Tea Cake she is treated very differently. While in the relationship with Jody Janie is viewed as only being an object to him. When Janie is given the chance to speak out and use her own voice Jody intervenes by saying, “mah wife don’t know nothin’ ‘bout no speech makin’. Ah never married her for nothing lak that. She’s uh woman and her place is in de home”(43). When Jody says this it makes her realize that Jody only views Janie as an object rather than an individual with her own mind and opinion. She wasn’t allowed to go where she wanted to or do what she wanted to. “When Ah wasn’t in de store [Jody] wanted me tuh jes sit wid folded hands and sit dere”(112). This type of life made her feel like she was being suffocated. When Janie begins her relationship Tea Cake, Janie is viewed as a person rather than a prop. The way Janie was being treated even from the beginning of the relationship made her feel like she was, “ glowing inside. Somebody wanted her to play”(96). Tea Cake didn’t just see her as being capable of doing only some things but anything that they put in their mind. Janie was able to play checkers, go fishing , and even shoot. The way that Jody treated her impacted Janie’s need to run away compared to the joy and happiness Tea Cake brought into her life and the new knowledge too.
Throughout the novel Janie’s hair is a consistent symbol of her identity and sexuality throughout the novel. In her relationship with Jody her hair is seen as being hidden and Jody forcing it to be covered. Rather than embracing her individuality Jody wants it hidden and tries to make it to have the appearance that he wants. One of the townspeople says, “Whut make her keep her head tied up lak some ole ‘oman round de store? Nobody couldn’t git tuh tie no rag on mah head if Ah had hair lak dat”(49).This headrag is a sign that she is his wife and that she must follow him. The forcing to have her hair hidden makes her feel like her life is incomplete and like she has no freedom to do what she pleases. So that after Jody dies and , “ She tore off the kerchief from her head and let down her plentiful hair. The weight and glory was there”(87). Even though she was forced to be following what Jody wanted her to do she was still her and he did not prevent her from being her true self. When Tea Cake is with Janie she has kept her down and stopped wearing the head rags for good. Rather than forcing her to hide her hair Tea Cake encourages seeing and brushing her...

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