Janie's Love Life in "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston

Essay by niki113090High School, 10th gradeA-, February 2007

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Equating Love into Janie's Life

Love is like math... confusing. But just as we have to put up with hours of algebra and geometry on a daily basis, Janie finds that she, too, has to deal with countless experiences with love. In Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie, the protagonist of the story, struggles to find true love. Throughout the novel she comes up with many possibilities, but later realizes that only one of these men could be the answer to her problem.

Janie's first husband was arranged by her grandmother, Nanny Crawford. Nanny wanted Janie to be financially stable more than anything else because of her own experiences of growing up as a slave. Janie plus Logan, however, summed up to be a disaster. When discussing marriage, Janie explains, "Ah wants things sweet wid mah marriage lak when you sit under a pear tree and think" (Hurston, 23).

Logan could not give this kind of love to Janie. To Logan, Janie equated to nothing more than an extra set of hands. As her husband, Logan hardly took the time to get to know Janie. Instead, he treated her inconsiderately and forced her to work in the fields. He even made comments such as,

"If Ah kin haul de wood heath and chop it fuh yuh, look lak you oughta be able tuh tote it inside. Mah fust wife never bothered me 'bout choppin' no wood nohow. She'd grab dat ax and slign chips lak uh man. You done been spoilt rotten" (25).

Remarks like these not only hurt Janie's feelings, but also decreased her absolute value.

When there seemed like their was no solution to save Janie's marriage, Janie ran away with a new possibility, Joe Starks. Joe, who Janie nicknamed "Jody" was the mayor...