Thier Eyes Were Watching God


In life everyone tries to find their true identity. For some it

comes naturally, for others it might take years to find their

identity, or they might never find it at all. In the novel Their

Eyes Were Watching God; Zora Neale Hurston reveals a

woman’s identity through her struggles in life, her treatment

by society, and her thoughts on life. Janie a young African

American girl who grew up in white life style; believed she

was related of them till about the age of six. This impact

changed Janie’s view on life. While she thought she was able

to do things the color of her skin held her back. This made

her try harder to accomplish her goals. When her

grandmother insisted that she marry Logan she did not want

to. Janie married him to fulfill her grandmother’s dreams.

Even though Janie did not love him she struggled till she

could not stand it and left with Joe.” It had always been his

wish and desire to be a big voice and he had to live nearly

thirty years to find a chance.” (28) While, Janie was with Joe

in Eaton Vile she had a higher status then the rest of the

towns people. Janie tried to interact with them, but Joe

would not let her. He thought of Janie as being better then all

of them. This led to the way she was treated in society. All

of the women in the town thought Janie had everything, but

Janie did not. She wanted to be excepted as part of them.

When Joe died people in the town expected Janie to be

mournful, so she put on an act for them. “She sent her face

to Joe’s funeral, and herself went rollicking with the

springtime across the world.” (88) After, Joe’s death Janie

still ran the store. While working she meet Tea Cake, he

showed her how to play checkers. “Somebody wanted her

to play. Somebody thought it natural for her to play.” (96)

This represents how he treated her as equal. Tea Cake

compared to the other two husbands in Janie’s life was

everything she was looking for. Tea Cake taught her so

much that she started to fell more independent. After, Tea

Cake’s death Janie grieves on the inside so much that she

did not care what people thought of her. She wore overhauls

that were all muddy. (189) After, all the struggles Janie went

through she finally found who she was. She did everything

everyone else wanted for her, but never did what she really

wanted for herself. After she found her true love she found

her identity, because this brought her closer to herself. This

made her whole and she finally knew what she wanted. It

did not come easy for Janie to find her identity. It took her

years to find out who she really was.