Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


Here's an essay I wrote for school. Feel free to read it to get ideas, but don't plagiarize!!!

Text of Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay

Joe Strehlow 12/6/08 4

Janies PerspectiveThe moving and evocative novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston illuminates that ones viewpoint and actions closely replicate his or her scruples, mindsets, and imperfections. In the early twentieth century tale, Hurston takes the reader through the journey of Janies life with her friends, lovers, along with the rest of society, all of which greatly influence her journey. Janies actions and perspectives reflect her values, attitudes, and flaws. Janie reveals her values through her perspective on others. When her aficionado, Joe Starks, tries to make her leave her husband, Janie [pulls] back a long time because [Joe Starks does] not represent sun-up and pollen and blooming trees, but he [speaks] for the far horizon (29). Janies consideration of a future relationship convey that she values a predictable future, like sun-up, pollen, and blooming, and will not just fall under dreams. She does not want to go unnoticed and stay back while Joe is attempting to reach the horizon. Janie is afraid of being left behind, as she values sociality and togetherness. Joes desire to reach the far horizon worries Janie because her apprehensive self causes her to focus on practicality and probability; she knows Joe will most likely leave her behind chasing his dreams. Moreover, Janie expresses that she values being noticed when the author describes her as a woman who has plenty of life beneath the surface but it [is] kept beaten down by the wheels (76). Janie feels degraded by society who just pushes her under; she wants to fight to the top, as she values authority and power. She wants to fight the unmovable wheels on which the pedestal of society rests on, so she can move up above the others and push them down.

Society doesnt only rest on the wheeled pedestal, but it controls the movement. The wheels have neither start nor an end; the beating down cannot be stopped unless one breaks through the barrier of society. Janies wish to do this conveys that she believes she has the courage no other underdogs have. Janie values her courage and her ability to stand up for herself, and not just go on the same level as everyone else, but rise above them. Janie has an attitude which illuminates that she is above others, as she believes she has the right to. For instance, after Janies first marriage with Logan, nobody [puts] anything on the seat of Logans wagon to make it ride glorious on the way to his house (21-22). Janie is unaware of the fact that life is not full of maids and servants who will eliminate all her problems; she does not know the true hardships of life. Janies mental non-acceptation of normal and inglorious ride to her husbands house suggests she takes many of her lifes pleasures for granted. Janies attitude suggests that she thinks she can get whatever her heart desires, no matter who is involved or what the situation may be. The wagon represents Janies journey so far in life, how she is always just carried along indolently; having nothing on the seat of the wagon to make it more glorious clarifies that Janie has not only been allowed to live passively, but gets privileges for doing nothing. In addition, Janie thinks of the many hardships of her life and how people are not orderly, That Post Office too. People always coming in and asking for mail at the wrong time (54). Janies complaint over a minor inconvenience elucidates that Janie cannot be satisfied with her life, as her attitude prohibits it. Unless she changes her attitude, she will not be able to live her life as a content individual. Packages and various goods travel to and from various Post Offices; since Janie complains when goods are being picked up, she feels that those parcels are being taken from her, which sheds light on the fact that she feels she has the right to everything. The Post Office is also an

infrastructural element that is typically used by the middle class and below, portraying that Janie believes she is above the standard member of society. Janies absurd and somewhat irrational values and attitudes are directly linked to her flawing characteristics. For example, Janie seems to have endless desires for power, Here [Joe is] just pouring honor all over her; building her a high chair for her to sit in and overlook the world and here she [is] just pouting over it (62). Joe gives Janie, in his eyes, everything a girl yearns for. However, Janies selfish attitude causes her to just keep wanting more for herself; when one steals, it must come from another, which conveys that what Janie steals for herself is being taken from those with less. Janies larceny exploits the fact that she is completely apathetic towards others and their lives, even though she complains of comparatively minute issues in her life. Furthermore, Janies attitudes and values lead to her major flaws when she thinks it is appropriate that skin color determines ones place in society; she thinks that anyone who looks more white folkish than herself [is] better than she [is] (144). Janies perspective that social status depends on skin color and white features illustrate that she values ones looks over ones personality, which is a flaw because looks do not reflect the persons true self. Janies perception of different races also reflects her perception of people in general; she believes that there will always be lesser and greater human beings. Her negative perspective on what affects ones status reflects her overall pessimistic attitude towards life. If Janie gained more optimism and changed her perspective, she would learn to resolve her negligible concerns, thus resulting in becoming a better person altogether. Janies values, attitudes, and flaws not only reflect who she is in society, but who she truly is to herself. Janies perspective reveals that she values power and authority, in addition to her attitude of superiority and that others are lesser. Her perplexing values and attitudes

form a connection to her flaws; these important aspects of Janie are why her life is not how she wishes it to be. The viewpoints of one, along with ones values and outlooks, are directly linked to his or herflawed characteristics.


View more >