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Word Count: 512
Metaphors and other such literary devices have been used for centuries by authors to create multiple meanings and hidden significance Sometimes an author will work with one image throughout a novel and other times multiple images will be used to illustrate the many messages of a story Still few authors have achieved the kind of metaphorical beauty Zora Hurston realizes with in her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God Hurstons most famous metaphor is the likening of Janie to a pear tree but perhaps the most important symbolism can be found in the very first paragraph of the novel Ships at a distance have every mans wish on board For some they come in with the tide For others 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 is the life of men Such a powerful opening sets the reader in store for the long journey ahead of them for in just five lines Hurston has summarized the life of Man he is symbolically yearning for his ship to come in with the tide but only the lucky few attain this prize while the rest are damned to forever watch until death lets them stop Another key symbol presented here is that of the horizon Always far off in the distance it represents Janies desire to move forward Unlike the others who are content to sit on their porches and watch the sun set Janie wants to travel and see the world and the horizon symbolizes the unknown land that lies beyond Joe Starks is a selfish character driven only by his desire to be powerful To illustrate how Joe is different from the other males in the book Hurston gives him a trademark cigar to smoke Joes dominance over Janie is symbolized by the rags he makes
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