Clemence K http://www. kube93. com/pages/summer_jam. html? feed=267976&article=3602116 http://www. ebay. com/itm/Womens-High-Waist-F-aux-Leather-Fashion-Leggings-Pants-With-Bronze-Zipper-Front-/350624597616 (for pant) Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston is an African American author who uses different styles of writing to describe her characters. In “Their Eyes Were Watching God” she transforms from a colloquial kind of writing to a formal kind of writing using it back and forth to develop the tone towards characters.
Hurston develops the theme of the pursuit of dreams and finding oneself through the use of imagery, symbols and diction. The protagonist of this is book Janie who views life as a journey that she’s yet to complete is constantly in a battle of finding the true meaning of happiness through finding true love and trying to make it to the “horizon”. Throughout the book Hurston uses nature to describe her main characters and to create an understanding of her book to the reader. Hurston develops the theme at the beginning of the book with the introduction of “ships at a distance”. Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For some they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That’s the life of men. ” (pg. 1) Janie’s journey is seen through her grandmother and her three marriages, her solely purposes of finding her dreams of the true meaning of love. For some people they never find their horizons while others keep searching for it just like Janie did.
Janie’s challenges throughout the book are conveyed by the use of imagery to conjure positive ideas to the reader’s mind. Hurston compares Janie’s love to “the pear tree” where she sees love as something so perfect. She compares love to blue skies, sunny days, bee pollinating pear blossom trees. Hurston’s use of imagery particularly nature is to create a vivid understanding of the book to the reader. In all her three marriages Janie faced a lack of identity except in her third marriage to Tea Cake. She faced resistance with her first marriage to Logan Killicks.
He took her for a mule and she somewhat lost herself to him. She never loved him at all and never felt any kind of connections. “She knew now that marriage didn’t make love. Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman. ” Her first marriage bloomed and withered away like the symbol of her life the pear tree. She had grown up now. Janie’s growth from a girl removed any identity she already didn’t know to a woman so strong and independent. Her second marriage wasn’t that great either. She thought Joe Starks was the perfect man.
There was sparks in the beginning of this relationship, something that Janie wanted. Her dream to the horizon begins again with Joe “ah wouldn’t let the sun go down on us single. Ah’m uh man wid principles. You ain’t never knowed what it was to be treated lak a lady and Ah wants to be de one tuh show yuh. ” (pg. 28). Joe was a man with lofty goals and charisma. Janie for the first time in her life feels that she may be able to find true love with Joe who wants her to be treated like a lady, rather than as a farmer’s wife.
As time goes on and Joe becomes the mayor of Eatonville, their love grows possessive. Janie comes to realize that she is once again lacking the love that she has longed for; she hasn’t reached the horizon yet. When Joe said “mah wife don’t know nothin’ ‘bout speech-makin’,” it froze Janie’s heart and made her question her feelings for Joe. Throughout this marriage, Janie lost more and more of her identity and freedom but she still stayed with Joe to his death. Hurston’s use of dialect brings the story and the characters to life and makes it seem real.
Her encounter with Tea Cake led to her third marriage. Tea Cake was all that she could ask for. Her dreams were becoming a reality with charming Tea Cake around her; he wasn’t a pretentious man like Logan and Joe. He gave Janie all the freedom she could ask for, he loved her for who she was and didn’t try to hide or change her. Throughout this relationship she realizes the meaning of true love and her dream to the “horizon. ” The horizon is a symbol of Janie’s lifelong pursuit of happiness, Hurston uses symbol in “Their Eyes Were Watching God” to develop Janie’s story. Love is lak de sea. It’s uh movin’ thing, but still and all, it takes shape from the shore it meets and it’s different with every shore. ” (pg. 191). It’s only in this relationship that Janie understands what love is, love has no obligations and it happens at the right time with the right person! Hurston’s use of stylistic devices allow her to use language as a power tool as described in Janie’s journey of finding true love which made her realize the potential in herself.
Janie’s growth to an independent woman gives her the courage to return to her hometown. Zora Neale’s Their Eyes Were Watching God shows that the only way to achieve one’s dreams to ignore society’s constant judgments and live the way you want. “She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. ” (pg. 192). Throughout Janie’s relationship experiences, she discovered being independent and a strong woman. As a result of her lifelong encounters, she learned the value of true love and fulfillment of her dreams.