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Janie’s Growth in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Janie’s Growth in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

In the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie has allowed us to better understand the restraints that women in society had to deal with in a male dominated society. Her marriage with Logan Killicks consisted of dull, daily routines. Wedding herself to Joe Starks brought her closer to others, than to herself. In her final marriage to Vergible Woods, also known as Tea Cake, she finally learned how to live her life on her own. In the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie suffered through many difficult situations that eventually enabled her to grow into an independent person.

Janie Crawford was forced into a relationship with Logan Killicks unwillingly by her Grandmother, Nanny. When marrying Logan, she had to learn to love him for who he was and what he did. She never had the chance to know him before marriage. In the text, she says, “Ah’ll cut de p’taters fuh yuh. When you comin’ back?”. (Hurston, 26) This was something that she did not enjoy doing. She had to follow his directions and do as she was told. Janie was trapped in this marriage with no self-esteem. She was dependent on Logan when it came to doing things such as chores around the house. As time passed, Logan had told her, “If Ah kin haul de wood heah and chop it fuh yuh, look lak you oughta be able tuh tote it inside…. You done been spoilt rotten.” (Hurston, 25). Day after day, she would follow his directions, being so dependent on his orders; until one day, Joe Starks came into her life.

Joe Starks was a man who had promised Janie the best if she left Logan Killicks. “Janie, if you think Ah aims to told you off and make a dog o…

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…ance: Passion, Patriarchy, and the Modern Marriage Plot.

” The Coupling Convention: Sex, Text and Tradition in Black Women’s Fiction. New York: Oxford UP, 1993. 110-142.

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). : Urbana, Ill.: U of Illinois P, 1937.

Interpretations: Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987.

Kayano, Yoshiko. “Burden, Escape, and Nature’s Role: A Study of Janie’s Development in Their Eyes Were Watching God.”

Publications of the Mississippi Philological Association (1998): 36-44. (ILL – not yet received)

Kubitschek, Missy Dehn. ” ‘Tuh de Horizon and Back’: The Female Quest in Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Modern Critical

Williams, Shirley Anne. Forward. Their Eyes Were Watching God. By Zora Neale Hurston. New York: Bantam-Dell, 1937. xv

womenhod Depiction of Women in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness Heart Darkness essays

Depiction of Women in Heart of Darkness In Joseph Conrad’s novella, Heart of Darkness, the representation of women is extremely limited. Conrad’s portrayals are extreme stereotypes meant to depict the entire female gender. Through these extreme stereotypes, Conrad is able to illustrate his themes of darkness and brutality. Joseph Conrad depicts only three main women in his novel: the aunt of Marlow, as well as the mistress and his fiancee. These roles though limited in their descriptions, are meant to represent the commonly perceived (as well as extremely stereotypical) positions of women in society, i.e.: the mother, the whore and the dutiful Lady/virgin. Conrad describes the aunt as a “dear and enthusiastic soul…ready to do anything, anything for [Marlow],” (pg. 34). The mistress is described as “savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent; there was something ominous and stately in her deliberate progress,” (pg. 101). While in contrast, Kurtz’s fiancee is described as ready to listen without mental reservation, without suspicion, without a thought for herself,” (pg. 115). These characters are all extremes, stereotypical in nature and limited, illustrating Conrad’s portrait’s of brutality, violence, death and darkness of the unconquered world. Since navigation and exploration was all done by men these themes are apart of the male realm, and thus can only be understood or is meant to be inclusive by men. As a result, through these extreme characters of the women, it is understood that women this brutality would never have occurred if it had been written about women, because these women do not have and are not capable of these feelings and characteristics. All of the women in Conrad’s novella are depicted in an unthreatening manner, easily dominated and controlled by men. These representations allow the central themes to be illustrated for the author, showing that they are of male phenomenons.

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