Theme: Freedom and Confinement
In this novel, Janie, the protagonist has a very free will sense of living. In this time period women were treated as lesser and were often shown as prisoners of love in a sense. They do not have a say in arguements and they don't get to speak their mind unless asked their opinion. Janie is quite the opposite of a timid women and gets herself in trouble by speaking out in the movie causing a constant turmoil between freedom and confinement.
"Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone." (8)
In this photo Janie does not feel controlled but feels freedom around tea cake.
"'She's a woman and her place is in de home'" (Jodie, 41)
Jodie controls Janie throughout the book.
"Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fishnet" (184)
Janie feels at peace and freedom even though she is now alone.
Characterization:Tea Cake and Janie
"Yes, she would love Logan after they were married. She could see no way for it to come about..." (Janie)
Janie: the main protagonist in the story. Throughout the novel she is constantly searching for love. She feels that to become a happy woman she needs a man but throughout the novel her independence brings her to the conclusion that she can be happy by herself.
Janie believed that loving someone would bring her a sense of freedom but only she could do that herself.
Janie looks at Tea Cake admiring him.
Tea Cake: A main character throughout the last half of the novel. Tea cake was the first man to actually be with Janie and not suppress her emotions and feelings. He was very good to her and also saved her during the hurricane.
Tea Cake does whatever is possible to make Janie happy because that's what makes him happy.
"Naw, you ain’t sleepy, Mis’ Janie. You jus’ want me tuh go. You figger Ah’m uh rounder and uh pimp and you done wasted too much time talkin’ wid me." (Tea Cake)
Symbol: The Pear Tree
"the way Joe spoke out without giving her a chance to say anything one way or another...took the bloom off of things"
In the novel, the pear tree was an obvious symbol and motif. The Pear Tree symbolizes the ideal relationship with none of the problems she faced with Jody.