In chapter six Hurston shows the importance males put on feeling superior to their female partners and forcing them in a role of subservience. In this chapter Joe Starks attempts to fit Janie into a submissive role by silencing her in conversations, beating her within their house walls, and treating her as an object of his possession. This strong sentiment that the author establishes early on in the novel only serves as the fuel for Janie to decide that personal growth and development as a woman will only occur when she breaks free from the mold that Joe has put her in.
Historical context[ edit ] Racial Climate in the Early s[ edit ] With legislation like the Jim Crow lawsenacted from tomany African-Americans were disfranchised. Groups like the Ku Klux Klan terrorized black citizens, leading to the steady decline of African-American political representation.
Tenant farming and sharecropping systems constituted the de facto re-enslavement of African Americans in the South, where Hurston's novel is based. Baptist preacher Thomas Dixon, Jr.
A Romance of the White Man's Burden inasserting white supremacy amidst supposed African-American evil and corruption. The book was so popular that Dixon wrote a trilogy.
His second novel, The Clansmanwas adapted for the silent film The Birth of a Nationportraying African-American men in an unintelligent, sexually aggressive light The renaissance was meant to be a liberating response to the restrictive standards of the Racial Uplift program, encouraging writers and artists to expose racist oppression in American society.
In an essay by Nick Aaron Ford, Hurston is quoted to have to said, "Many Negroes criticise my book, because I did not make it a lecture on the race problem. I am interested in you now, not as a Negro man but as a man.
I am not interested in the race problem, but I am interested in the problems of individuals, white ones and black ones. Hurston viewed her work as distinct from the work of fellow Harlem Renaissance writers she described as the "sobbing school of Negrohood" that portrayed the lives of black people as constantly miserable, downtrodden and deprived.
In addition, Hurston refused to censor women's sexuality, writing in beautiful innuendo to embrace the physical dimension of her main character's romances.
Completely rejecting the Uplift agenda, the magazine also included homoerotic work as well as portrayals of prostitution.
Readers receive the story of her life in three major periods corresponding to her marriages to three very different men. The flashback in the book begins with Janie's sexual awakening which she compares to a pear blossom in spring.
Not long after, Janie allows a local boy, Johnny Taylor, to kiss her, which Janie's grandmother, Nanny, witnesses. Nanny is an elderly woman who, as a slave, was raped by her owner and gave birth to a mixed-race daughter Leafy.
Nanny escaped from her jealous mistress and found a good home after the end of the American Civil War. Nanny tried to create a good life for her daughter, but Leafy was raped by her school teacher and became pregnant with Janie.
Shortly after Janie's birth, Leafy began to drink and stay out at night. Eventually, she ran away, leaving her daughter Janie with Nanny.
Nanny, afraid Janie's life may follow Leafy's or her own, transfers all the hopes she had for Leafy to Janie and arranges for Janie to marry Logan Killicks, an older farmer looking for a wife. Although Janie is not interested in either Logan or marriage, her grandmother wants her to have the stability she never had; legal marriage to Killicks, Nanny believes, will give Janie opportunities.
Nanny feels that Janie will be unable to take care of herself, so she must marry a man who will take care of her.
|Navigate Guide||Historical context[ edit ] Racial Climate in the Early s[ edit ] With legislation like the Jim Crow lawsenacted from tomany African-Americans were disfranchised.|
|Character List||Throughout her professional career as an anthropologist and writer, as well as her personal life, Hurston never really left the little country town of Eatonville, Florida, and its environs.|
|Zora Neale Hurston||Their Eyes were Watching God is a bildungsroman that follows Janie's formative years, beginning in her youth.|
|From the SparkNotes Blog||Behind her defiance are a curiosity and confidence that drive her to experience the world and become conscious of her relation to it.|
Janie's image of the pear tree causes her to imagine that marriage must involve love—in Janie's pear tree scene, she sees bees pollinating a pear tree and believes that marriage is the human equivalent to this natural process. However, Killicks wants a domestic helper rather than a lover or partner; he thinks Janie does not do enough around the farm and that she is ungrateful.
Janie speaks to Nanny about how she feels, but Nanny, too, accuses her of being spoiled. And so, Janie's idea of the pear tree is tarnished. Soon afterward, Nanny dies. Unhappy, disillusioned, and lonely, Janie chooses to leave Killicks and runs off with the glib Jody Joe Starks, who takes her to EatonvilleFlorida.
Finding the small town residents unambitious, Starks arranges to buy more land, establishes a general store which he has built by local residents, and is soon elected as mayor of the town.
Janie soon realises that Starks wants her as a trophy wifeto reinforce his powerful position in town.
He asks her to run the store, but forbids her from participating in the substantial social life that occurs on the store's front porch. He treats her as his property, controlling what she wears and says, and criticizes her mistakes.
He also begins to strike her occasionally. As time passes, he teases her in public about being old, even though she is only in her thirties.Life for Hurston began in Eatonville, the setting of Their Eyes Were Watching God. Incorporated in , this small, all-black town, about five miles north of Orlando, is located on the road that connects Florida Highway 17 and Interstate 4.
Their Eyes Were Watching God study guide contains a biography of Zora Neale Hurston, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Study Guides Q & A.
Janie Mae Crawford - The protagonist of the pfmlures.com defies categorization: she is black but flaunts her Caucasian-like straight hair, which comes from her mixed ancestry; she is a woman but defies gender stereotypes by insisting on her independence and wearing overalls.
Their Eyes Were Watching God study guide contains a biography of Zora Neale Hurston, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. About Their Eyes Were Watching God.
The most prevalent themes in Their Eyes Were Watching God involve Janie's search for unconditional, true, and fulfilling love. She experiences different kinds of love throughout her life. As a result of her quest for this love, Janie gains her own independence and personal freedom, which makes her a .
A summary of Symbols in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Their Eyes Were Watching God and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.