"Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston

Essay by ccmustangs2001High School, 11th gradeA+, May 2005

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"He could never be dead until she herself had finished feeling and thinking.... So much of life in its meshes. She called in her soul to come and see." Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, is an epic story of a young girl learning how to live and to discover an identity, not through talk but through action. Janie could not be told what life was like by anyone; she had to go out and find out for herself, and when she did, she brought back a "fish-net" of her life and its memories.

Janie's first marriage to Logan Killicks was not what Janie had really wanted. After previously listening to 'the words of the trees and the wind' her grandmother realizes Janie was ready for love and thus marriage (25). Janie's grandmother, Nanny, had urged the marriage due to the fact that he could support her and create Janie's identity.

Janie had married for the sake of another and did not love her husband Logan Killicks. She used to ask herself the question: "Did marriage compel love like the sun the day" (21)? She found out through experience in her marriage that it did not. She was longing for something else. Logan Killicks did not give her what she desired which was really love and the joys and trials that come with it.

When Janie leaves Logan Killicks to follow Joe she reminds herself of what would have to be done: "Her old thoughts were going to come in handy now, but new words would have to be made and said to fit them" (32). Janie married her second husband Joe Starks and had done what society would consider "marrying up." Janie had done what society would say to be the...



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