"Their Eyes were Watching God" essay (with quotes)

Essay by chinamike530High School, 11th gradeB+, December 2006

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In the moving novel, "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston, Hurston depicts the life and struggles of a black woman named Janie Mae Crawford. Zora Neale Hurston uses the literary technique of symbols to represent the plot and emotions of Janie throughout the novel. Janie is held back by some of these symbols but breaks free from oppression which silences her feelings and gains strength when she escapes the power of them. Most importantly displayed are the symbols of the pear tree, hair and the event of a hurricane. Janie progresses through stages symbolized by these symbols and evolves emotionally to a strong and enduring woman.

From the start of the novel Janie is revealed as a person with good intentions and wishful dreaming. After marrying in hopes of love and security Janie says, "Ah wants things sweet wid mah marriage lak when you sit under a pear tree and think" (24).

Janie had wounded up marrying to fulfill her Grandma's last wish; yet, unwittingly Janie had thought love came with marriage but instead she found none. She wanted her marriage to be a pleasure and something she could easily express herself in like a life under a pear tree. Ironically, instead she had found it to be a chore with no love, no self-expression and vulgarly hating the marriage. Yet, Janie continues to dream about a happy life, "Oh to be a pear tree--any tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the beginning of the world" (11). This comparison of life to a pear tree in bloom is Janie's way of saying she wanted to experience the good part of life; the bloom. She wanted love and respect like a bloomed pear tree is with bee's kissing it. However, she...