Their Eyes Were Watching God

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2002

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Throughout life, everyone goes through a period of self-searching. There is a common desire to discover ourselves so that we have a fulfilling life. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston presents the reader with Janie, a woman in search of herself and love. Hurston uses imagery and figurative language to show how defiant and lonely Janie was. This passage shows the defiance Janie felt towards her grandmother and towards people on the outside and it also shows the lonesomeness Janie felt after Joe's funeral.

Authors use imagery to convey an inner look into a passage. Imagery allows the author to reveal unknown feelings to the reader and allows certain tones to be presented. Janie is presented as being very defiant in this passage through Hurston's imagery. At the beginning of the passage, Hurston tells how Janie "sent her face to Joe's funeral and herself went rollicking with the springtime."

This image is off a woman defying the world and doing what she wants to, instead of giving in and grieving over the loss of a loved one. It shows definite defiance to the accepted traditions. Janie also went home and "burnt up every one of her head rags," to show her defiance for Joe. The image of her burning the head rags its very powerful because it shows how she did not agree with his belief that her hair should be kept covered and only shown to him. Janie also had many problems with her grandmother always trying to hold her back from going out and finding her love and trying to discover herself. Janie's grandma "pinched [the horizon] in to such a little bit of a thing that she could tie it around her granddaughter's neck"¦" this image is extremely powerful cause...