Their Eyes Were Watching God
The paper focuses on the several changes that occurred throughout the life of Janie, who is a protagonist in the novel. The changes witnessed I the novel are internal changes that are the response to the external events in the story. We witness several changes in the first fifteen chapters which most of the changes being internal changes. Some of these changes such as her first marriage, her second marriage, and her third marriage are the response to the external events and have been discussed below.
One of the most significant external changes witnessed in the first ten chapters of the novel is the desire of the grandmother that arise for her to get a potential husband who will who will enable her to attain higher social status in the society. The external change gives rise to her first marriage to former Logan Killicks. The other external change is where Joe takes Janie to Eatonville, which is known to be a black city in America. What follows is Joe managing to be the next mayor of the town giving him a “big voice.” Her husband Joe becoming a mayor is an external change that translates her life as a mayor’s wife.
The novel brings a scenario where Janie watches a bee on a pear tree in her backyard pollinating a flower. The situation of the bee overwhelms her with an obsession of getting a true love. The Joe’s wealth is not a big deal to her. It is followed by her maturity and emotional growth through three marriages. The statements by Nany that black women are mules of the world influences Janie’s decision to marry Joe, who is described as ambitious and smoothed tongued. When her dream of finding true love dies, she becomes fed up with stifling and monotonous life and wishes to be part of social life.
In the novel, we also encounter another event in the big party. Janie responds to her treatment by Joe at the big party at the store opening by ripping him to shreds before the townspeople. The event seems to be embarrassing to Joe, and he beats her. She tells them how impotent and ugly he is, and this eventually leads to her beating. Janie image changes to Joe when he attains a big voice (becomes mayor). He views Janie as a fitting ornament to his power and wealth and attempts to shape her into his opinion of how a mayor’s wife should be.
The previous life of Janie is described as a slave life and after Joe’s death, Janie feels free for the first time throughout her life. Her freedom is evidenced by her next step of dating Tea Cake, who is ten years younger. Her realization on how she feels about her grandmother has shaped her understanding of self as she explains she has warped her worldview. She explains that she love her grandmother before giving a flashback story about her life journey. Janie’s response to her new fond freedom after the death of Joe suggests her maturity in her growth as an individual.
We can conclude that Janie’s discovery, as well as maturity, has been motivated by several changes that occur throughout the journey of her life. Janie’s journey of life in the first fifteen chapters gives insights on what eventually lead her to self-realization as well as her maturity.
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