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Word Count: 475
The theme of violence is very evident in Zora Neale Hurstons novel Their Eyes Were Watching God One of these evident violent actions is spousal abuse Harsh words that cannot be recalled are spoken in moments of anger or stress Verbal and physical abuse are as old as human relationships They are ways of asserting power and maintaining authority of venting pent-up anger or in its meanest occurrences an explosion of drunken furyJoe asserts his power over Janie by striking her several times once when things go wrong in the kitchen and his dinner isnt satisfactory He strikes her violently in the presence of the porch sitters after she verbally assaults him in front of his friends Ironically her attack on him may have been more grievous than his retaliation on her The scars and bruises of his blow heal quickly but his degradation in the eyes of his friends not to mention the gossip among the women never goes away Janie acting the role of an outwardly compliant wife is inwardly a rebellious woman even though she takes Joes assaults without physically striking back She is consistently presented as being a small person sometimes called LilBits A blow from her would have been ineffective Verbal abuse serves her only too wellJanies second verbal attack on Joe occurs when she knows Joe is on his deathbed The cruelest thing Janie says to him is that his death is imminent He reacts to that news with fear of death and hatred of Janie Ah wish thunder and lightnin would kill yuh he cries She continues with her vengeful review of their unhappy marriage but its too late It falls on unheeding earsMarriage to Tea Cake promises a better life but it will not be free from abuse Tea Cake treats Janie in a way so completely different from the way Joe treated her that she has no need for a sharp tongue Unfortunately for Janie certain
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