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Word Count: 864
Well you know whut dey say uh white man and uh nigger woman is de freest thing on earth Dey do as dey please Zora Neale Hurston Their Eyes Were Watching God 1937 This anonymously voiced sentence end of Chapter 19 accompanied by the few sentences before it encapsulates Janie Woods life It echoes the opening sentence Ships at a distance have every mans wish on board Who owns these ships What are they carrying A slave ship How is it that the black woman is as free as a white man is Janie Woods like the white man reaches for the horizon Janie like the white man attains the horizon Janie is the horizon This anonymous statement gives power to Janie Janie as far as the men on the porch are concerned is as free as a white man is She does as she pleases So she was free and the judge and everybody up there smiled with her and shook her hand179 She was free Free like a white man The word free in the context of the south has a deep meaning A meaning far more complex than an acquittal It is a freedom from slavery It is a freedom of imprisonment It is a freedom of spirit Janie is free Janies freedom encompasses more than just a freedom from a jailhouse- it is spiritual freedom This freedom misinterpreted by her true jury her fellow African-Americans lessens the impact of her freedom It does however bolster her position as a free woman The fact that her freedom is recognized by the men on the porch only serves to strengthen Janie This misinterpretation solidifies in the mind of the Negroes when the White women in the court surround Janie after the jury proclaims her innocence The Negroes do nothing to hide their disgust They walk out with their heads hung low This movement in the courthouse of White women
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