Search For Self: Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God "

Essay by falariousHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 2007

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Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God" is her most highly acclaimed novel. Her ability to write this book full of life's lessons made her one of the most fascinating writers America has known. The novel takes place during the 1920s and '30s and is set in a series of all-black communities in rural Florida. The novel is a story within a story with the main character, Janie Crawford, telling the story to her best friend Pheoby. Throughout the novel, she goes though a process of self-actualization and finds out who she really is.

"So when we looked at de picture and everybody got pointed out there wasn't nobody left except a real dark little girl with long hair standing by Eleanor. Dat's where ah wuz s'posed to be, but Ah couldn't recognize dat dark chile as me." As a young girl, Janie had always thought she was white.

It was only until she saw a picture one day of all of the children that she realized that she was the black little girl. This was Janie's first step into self-actualization.

When Janie was sixteen, she kissed Johnny Taylor. Nanny sees her kiss him, and says that Janie is now a woman and ready for marriage. She suggests that Janie was to marry Logan Killicks. While being married with Logan she finds that it wasn't what she wanted. She realizes that marriage does not equal love, and from this realization, she becomes a woman.

One afternoon, Janie meets Joe Starks. Joe Starks is a man with principle, well dressed and a sweet talker. He represents a new beginning and because of that, Janie decides to leave Logan for Joe. When she leaves Logan for Joe, she takes off her apron which symbolized all the work she had...