Their Eyes Were Watching God Sam Barron B7

Theme

Their eyes were watching god is about identity and shows that Janie finds herself throughout the book.

In the book, Janie comes to find the true meaning of her life when her husband Joe Starks dies. A new part of her comes out and shows who she truly is. She was confined to do only what Joe wanted her to do, and now she is free to be herself.

Janie after Joe passed
The morning road air was like a new dress. That made her feel the apron tied around her waist. She untied it and flung it on a low bush beside the road and walked on, picking flowers and making a bouquet. After that she came to where Joe Starks was waiting for her with a hired rig. He was very solemn and helped her to the seat beside him. With him on it, it sat like some high, ruling chair. From now on until death she was going to have flower dust and springtime sprinkled over everything. A bee for her bloom. (Hurston, 32)
Before she slept that night she burnt up every one of her head rags and went about the house next morning with her hair in one thick braid swinging well below her waist. (Hurston, 89)
Soon everything around Downstairs was shut and fastened. Janie mounted the stairs with her lamp. The light in her hand was like a spark of sun-stuff washing her face in fire. Her shadow behind fell black and headlong down the stairs. Now, in her room, the place tasted fresh again. The wind through the open windows had broomed out all the fetid feeling of absence and nothingness. (Hurston, 192)

Characterization

Janie Starks

Direct

The men noticed her firm buttocks like she had grape fruits in her hip pockets; The great rope of black hair swinging to her waist and unraveling in the wind like a plume; then her pugnacious breasts trying to bore holes in her shirt. (Hurston, 2)

Indirect

The wife of the Mayor was not just another woman as she had supposed. She slept with authority in so she was part of the in the town mind. She couldn't get but so close to most of them in spirit. (Hurston, 46)

Joe Starks

Direct

It was a cityfied, stylish dressed man with his hat set at an angle that didn’t belong in these parts. His coat was over his arm, but he didn’t need it to represent his clothes. The shirt with the silk sleeveholders was dazzling enough for the world. He whistled, mopped his face and walked like he knew where he was going. He was a seal-brown color but he acted like Mr. Washburn or somebody like that to Janie. (Hurston, 27)

Indirect

There was something about Joe Starks that cowed the town. It was not because of his physical fear. He was no fist fighter. His bulk was not even imposing as men go. Neither was it because he was more literate than the rest. Something else made men give way before him. He had a bow–down command in his face, and every step he took made the thing more tangible. (Hurston, 47)

Symbol

The Hurricane

The hurricane represents the destructiveness of nature. It shows how chaotic and intense the world can be. The hurricane makes the characters question who they are and what their place in the universe is. It makes them wonder what kind of world they live in and whether God cares about them at all. While staring at the door during the hurricane, Janie and the others wonder how they can survive in a world filled with such chaos and tragedy, and question the kindness of God.

After the hurricane
They huddled closer and stared at the door. They just didn’t use another part of their bodies, and they didn’t look at anything but the door. The time was past for asking the white folks what to look for through that door. Six eyes were questioning God. (Hurston, 159)

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