Excerpt from Annotated Bibliography:
Self-Realization and Identification in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Sight Were Seeing God
Zora Neale Hurston explores thinking about a young dark woman’s seek out identity in her story Their Eyes Were Observing God. Hurston emphasizes the concept women, particularly during the 20th century when this story was written, need to discover their freedom and identification without being under the control of males. According to Pondrom, Their Eyes Were Watching The almighty has been assessed as a quest for self-fulfillment or self-identity (181). Bernard also claims that “interpretations with the novel have got focused, and continue to focus, on Janie’s psychological, emotional, physical, folkloric, feminist, linguistic, and religious self” (2). The main personality, Janie, is definitely on a quest to find her freedom and her unique identity. Her primary avenues for her self-realization are her marriages to three men – Logan, Later on, and Tea Cake. Hurston embodies Janie as a solid character who not live in bad relationships and eventually understands to only depend on herself. Hurston tells the storyline of Janie’s search for her self-realization and identity through natural metaphors, her childhood, and her three relationships.
Hurston uses descriptive symbolism adopted in the natural world to convey her point-of-view through Janie. Hurston foreshadows Janie’s quest for appreciate while she’s lying below a pear tree:
“She was expanded on her back beneath the pear tree putting in the elevado chant with the visiting bees, the platinum of the sunshine and the puffing breath in the breeze and the inaudible tone of voice of it all found her. The girl was a dust bearing bee sink in the sanctum of the bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to satisfy the love embrace and the happy shiver in the tree via root to the tiniest branch and creaming in every flower and frothing with pleasure. So this was marriage! ” (11)
The joining with the bee and flower is reflecting the love that Janie desires throughout the novel. Sivils states that her “hybridization and continuing romantic relationship with trees and shrubs serves to place her within a natural ecological system, a situation that makes feeling as Janie repeatedly does not fit within human communities” (100). Bernard also facilitates this argument, by publishing that, “Janie uses the self-as-nature metaphor to consider the personal both being a material thing and a great abstract entity combined by simply language, individual mind and memory. The related ‘tree’ metaphor anchors this duality” (4).
Hurston first features the reader to Janie’s personality issues during her childhood, which the girl spends with her grandmother, Nanny. Janie lived a privileged existence for someone of her competition at the time of the storyline, and had white-colored children as playmates. Janie’s unawareness from the uniqueness of her appears among the other children may be the first sort of her id crisis. She eventually recognizes herself in a photograph and says that, “before Ah seen de picture Ah thought Oh wuz the same as de rest” (Hurston 8). This realization that her dark skin has arranged her apart from her colleagues sends Janie into the two a volitile manner as well as the path to find her own personality.
Janie’s initial marriage, to Logan Killicks, is organized by her grandmother. Janie was immune to this romance, as your woman believed that she was losing her freedom and sense of self. Your woman was at this point Mrs. Logan Lillicks, and had obligations with her husband. Janie is certainly not in love with Logan, as she says to Childcare professional: “Cause you told me Ah mus gointer love him, and Ah don’t. Maybe if someone was to tell me how, Oh could carry out it” (Hurston 23). Instead of listening to her husband, Janie chooses to become “the words and phrases of the forest and the wind” (23), which will shows that she’s searching over and above the face benefit of her life to get something even more meaningful. Pondrom writes that Logan signifies “economic security, marital capacity, and a measure of defense against dependence on white wines or exploitation by them” (190). He goes on to believe this kind of relationship was the “greatest goal” (190) that a slave-born grandmother can wish for her grandchild, although that Logan “meant pure survival to Janie” (190). Logan did not give Janie “joy, relationship, sexual desire, or perhaps understanding, [nor] creativity, thoughts, or a means to envision a meaning to get experience that transcended 59 acres and a mule” (Pondrom 190).
Janie wants to look for the emotional and physical appreciate that her husband are unable to provide for her, and finally leaves Logan another man, Paul Starks. Joe represents a more genuine like and better future to Janie:
“Every day from then on they was able to meet inside the scrub Oak trees across the road and speak about when he might be a big ruler of things with her reaping the advantages. Janie pulled back a very long time because he did not represent sun-up and pollen and blooming trees, but he spoke for far horizon” (Hurston 29).
When she leaves her husband to get Joe, Janie thinks to herself, “Her old thoughts were going to come in handy today, but new words would have to be made and said to suit them” (31). But Janie’s dreams of appreciate are smashed, as Joe restricts and oppresses his new wife, making all their marriage an additional loveless 1 for her. Pondrom argues that “Joe’s refusal of Janie’s voice, his insistence that she take up a pedestal so that his power will probably be visible, demonstrates how completely he has been consumed with a value system which locations ownership at its center besides making even people into possessions” (191).
Hurston writes, “She had forget about blossomy spaces dusting pollen over her man, neither any glistening young fruit where the padding used to be” (72). Though her confusion have been shattered, she Janie still has hope in real love: “She was saving up thoughts for some person she had never seen” (72). The moment Joe passes away and leaves Janie widowed, she finally feels a sense of freedom and independence once again, and “new thoughts needed to be thought and new words said” (77).
Janie finally meets his passion she has recently been looking for with Tea Wedding cake, an unpretentious man without the high position of her previous husbands. Hurston writes of Tea Cake: “He looked like his passion thoughts of the woman. Maybe he is a bee to a blossom – a pear tree blossom in the spring. Having been a glance by God” (106). Tea Wedding cake affords Janie the freedom that she has always wanted, and this wounderful woman has finally found inner serenity and her own personality. She will no longer felt obligated as a wife, but helped her hubby because your woman loved him. Janie says of Tea Cake, “He done taught me para maiden dialect all over” (109). Pondrom writes of the marriage:
“Janie learns, inside the brief months with Tea Cake, tips on how to share her life with a potent guy, and what it means neither to possess nor being owned but for rejoice in the creative forces of the world – the forces that animate the plants with the fertile muck, the vocal singing and grooving of the people, and the modern sexuality of her union with Tea Cake. ” (192)
Tragedy strikes Tea Cake when he is injured by a rabid dog, and Janie must mercy kill him:
“Janie held his head tightly to her breasts and wept and thanked him wordlessly for offering her the opportunity for caring service. The lady had to larg him tight for quickly he would be gone, and the lady had to let him know for the last time” (184).
The most crucial gift that Tea Cake gave Janie was security, strength, and inner happiness. Janie goes back to her hometown, where your woman was cared for poorly, and says, “So Ah’m home agin and Ah’m happy tuh always be heah” (191).
Janie’s pursuit of self-realization and independent personality was
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