Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston

Theme

Zora Neal Hurtson's book Their Eyes Were Watching God is about looking for love and reveals a variety types of love. This theme is evident through the character of Janie and the event when expierences different kinds of love from few select people.

"So Janie waited a bloom time, and a green time and an orange time. But when the pollen again gilded the sun and sifted down on the role she began to stand around the gate and expect thing. What things? She didn't know exactly. Her breath was gusty and short. She knew things that nobody had ever told her. For instance, the words of the trees and the wind. She often spoke to falling seeds and said, 'Ah hope you fall on soft ground,' because she had heard seeds saying that to each other as they passed. She knew the world was a stallion rolling in the blue pasture of ether. She knew that God tore down the old world every evening and built a new one by sun-up. It was wonderful to see it take form with the sun and emerge from the gray dust of its making." (Hurston 25).
"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 se was going to have flower dust and springtime sprinkled over everything. A bee for her bloom." (Hurston 32).
"He set it up and began to show her and she found herself glowing inside. Somebody wanted her to play. Somebody thought it natural for her to play. That was even nice. She looked him over and got little thrills from one of his good points. Those full, lazy eyes with the lashes curling sharply away like drawn scimitars. The lean, over-padded shoulders and narrow waist. Even nice!" (Hurston 95-96).
The gun represents the end of Janie's and TeaCakes love. As for the pear it represents the change in Janie. Finally the hurricane, this stands for the abusive need for control that she went through with Jody.

Characterization: Janie Starks

"Dey gointuh make 'miration 'cause mah love didn't work lak they love, if dye ever had any. Then you must tell 'em dat love ain't somethin' lak uh grindstone dat's de same thing everywhere and do de same thing tuh everywhere it touch. Love is lak de sea. It's uh movin' thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it's different with every shore." (Hurston 191).
"Through pollinated air she saw a glorious being coming up the road. In her former blindness she had known him as shiftless Johnny Taylor, tall and lean. That was before the golden dust of pollen had beglamored his rags and her eyes. In the last stages of Nanny's sleep, she dreamed of voices. Voices far-off but persistent, and gradually coming nearer. Janie's voice. Janie talking in whispery snatches with a male voice she couldn't quite place. That brought her wide awake. She bolted upright and peered out of the window and saw Johnny Taylor lacerating her Janie with a kiss."

Characterization: Tea Cake

"You don't have tuh say, if it wuzn't fuh me, baby, cause Ah'm heah, and then Ah want yuh tuh know it's uh man heah." (Hurston 167).
"Put dat two hundred back wid de rest, Janie. Mah dice. Ah no need no assistance tuh help me feed mah woman. From now on, you gointuh eat whutever mah money can buy uh and wear de same. When ah ain't got nothin' you don't git nothin'." (Hurtson 128).

Symbol: Pear Tree

Janie sees perfect nature, full of energy, and harmony. In a way it represents the perfect type of love/life she looks for throughout the book.

"She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was marriage!" (Hurston 11)

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