Janie's Quest for an Improved Self Image
Janie loses her confidence early in life and appears to regain it throughout Their Eyes Were Watching God. Janie, an African American youth growing up in America in the early 20th century, faces discrimination upon other students' realization that she is different from them. Iin an effort to improve her damaged self-image, Janie finds herself in many relationships, only to find more discrimination. As a result of these relationships, she eventually learns she is only able to maintain a positive opinion of herself while not in a relationship. Janie does not admire the control the men of her relationships attempt to have over her. Janie's quest for an improved self-image is best satisfied by independence.
Janie gained a poor self-image as a result of her youth. Though originally happy, living with her grandmother, Janie finds herself distraught when she learns she is "colored", as she expresses in her statement, "Aw,aw! Ah'm colored!", "before Ah seen de picture Ah thought Ah wuz just like de rest."(9)
Janie is further teased, "'bout livin' in de white folks' back-yard."(p.9), and found herself unaccepted. Janie transforms from being one of the group to an outcast simply because of her appearance. Janie finds herself feeling destroyed.
Janie finds Logan Killicks, her first husband, unable to restore her self-image. A successful farmer, Logan was wed to Janie following Nanny's (Janie's Grandmother's) encouragement. Logan, Though treating Janie relatively well, Logan makes comments such as, "me myself done spoilt yuh now", and, " If Ah kin haul de wood heah and chop it fuh yuh, look lak you oughta be able tuh tote it inside"(26). These comments are somewhat discriminatory against Janie, as they imply she is not special or deserving. Further, Jody forces Janie to work, and she does not...