Janie’s Quest in Their Eyes Were Watching God
Each individual must travel through adversity in order to grow as an independent individual. Zora Neal Hurston’s, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is one of those novels in which Janie, the main character, goes on a quest to overcome the stereotypes of her time by becoming an independent women who discovers happiness and pride within herself. Throughout the novel, Hurston uses a variety of selective details and figurative language to convey not only the underlying feelings of Janie but also to reveal how one must break the stereotype to discover him or herself. One of the major stereotypes Hurston deals with reflects the stereotype that women cannot take care of themselves and society can easily take advantage of them. Early on in the novel, the grandmother watches Janie begin to bloom into a young women. In reaction she tells Janie,”Tain’t Logan Killicks Ah want you to have, baby, it’s protection” (150). Logan Killicks has become symbolic in the grandmothers mind as protection for Janie because she believes Janie has to have a man for her to protect her from the vulnerabilities of the world. Even later in the novel Janie would hear society repeat the same sentiments stating women need men to protect them. Ike Green, a potential suitor of Janie, cautions her,” women folks is easy taken advantage of” (91). The first time Janie hears she needs a man for protection, she believes she does need a man to protect her from the world. The second time, she possess a sense of self and knows the sentiment is nothing more than a fallacy that other women grow to accept. Janie believes that society continues to trap her within this same stereotype and becomes determined to find herself and prove that she is equal to males. Before Janie can understand herself she has to understand the fallacies which society continuously presents to her. Right up until this time, she doesn’t understand the fallacy of self. At this time, however,”...
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