Love plays a very important role in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes we
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Love plays a very important role in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes were watching God. Janie spent her days looking for love. She thought of love just as she thought of the elements of springtime: Sunny days, bright skies, a bee pollinating pear tree blossoms. She searched far and wide for this kind of perfect love.
Logan Killicks couldn't give this kind of love to Janie. He may not have loved her at all. To him, Janie was just another working set of hands. He treated her almost like another man. He was inconsiderate of her feelings, her hopes, her aspirations. He probably didn't know the color of her eyes. Janie was worked hard by Logan. He made her do all sorts of things that only men should have to have done. He was even going to make her plow the fields-a job that requires a considerable amount of strength: strength that Janie didn't have. Janie complained that nothing beautiful was ever said. She had no love with Logan Killicks. That is why she left him for a man that showed much potential to give the kind of love she was looking for.
The whistling man that Janie ran away with was Jody Starks. With Jody, Janie thought that she would forever have "flower dust and springtime sprinkled over everything." She thought she'd have "a bee for her bloom." She didn't exactly find this in Jody though. In him she definitely found change and chance, but still not the love she was looking for. What Jody had for Janie was more of a lust than a love. He was very protective of her and didn't want anyone else to see in her what he saw. He gave Janie many things including lots of money, but he couldn't give her love. The little love that was there eventually died. So did Jody.
Finally, Janie met up with Tea Cake. The moved together to the Muck in the Florida Everglades and lived in Tea Cake's Shanty. They spent each new day together. They laughed together, fished and hunted together, talked together, and spent time with friends together. These were all things that were missing from her previous relationships. They had made her to be somebody that she wasn't. Tea Cake let her be herself. He loved her just the way she was. He encouraged her to be what she wanted to be, to follow her dreams, her thoughts, her aspirations. Janie had finally found her bee. Tea Cake was the perfect bee for her bloom. She loved him with all of her heart. They had the kind of everlasting love that she had longed for all her life.
Tea Cake one day rescued Janie from a mad dog, but was bitten in his heroic effort. For a few months there was no effect, but when the rabies hit him, it was unbearable. It eventually got so incredibly bad that Tea Cake tried to kill Janie. His did this not out of hate for her but because of the mad dog within him. The was no way out for her. She desperately wished for things to be the way they used to be, but those wishes were not answered. She eventually shot and killed Tea Cake. Janie was tried for murder, but was emancipated because everyone knew that what she did was an act of love. She simply didn't want him to suffer any more.
Janie searched for the special love that she saw between the bee and the bloom for a long time. She finally found it in Tea Cake, but had to kill him. Killing him was probably the biggest act of love made in her whole life.
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African-American literature, American literature, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Literature, Zora Neale Hurston, Janie Johnson
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