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Symbolism of the Pear Tree Related to Janie's Self-Exploration in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Word Count: 1,006
The Perfect Marriage What is the symbolism of the pear tree and how does it relate to Janies Narrative In Their Eytes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston uses recurring symbols to help show Janies journey of self-exploration and search for meaning By far the strongest symbol is the pear tree The pear tree is the embodiment of what Janie seeks through out the novel a marriage in which both parties give and take and benefit from as do the bees and the blossoms But Janies quest is plagued by Nannys perception of men which also alters her perception of herself Hurston portrays the conflict between the two ideas of marriage well by changing in mid page from the free inquisitive Janie under the pear tree to Nannys cynical dialogue about how men have exploited her and Janies mother Janie sees Johnny Taylor as a glorious being coming up the road 11 where as Nanny characterizes Johnny as a trashy nigger usin yo body to wipe his foots on 12 The pear tree and the bees symbolize to Janie what love and marriage are supposed to be a self-rewarding relationship Where as Nanny sees marriage as a tool to be used in protecting Janie from the evils of men Hurston points this out in Nannys reasoning behind why she thinks Logan Killicks is best for Janie Taint Logan Killicks Ah wants you to have baby its protection 14 Nanny then goes on to tell her life story of being used by men which further corrupts Janies quest for a bee and blossom relationship After Nannys historical narrative Janie agrees to marry Logan Killicks Janies lack of experience requires her to ask others about marriage and love and made a sort of comfort for herself 20 by believing that she would find love in her marriage with Logan Killicks Her marriage to Logan starts to turn sour as soon as it begins
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