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The Three Marriages of Janie in the Novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Word Count: 2,634
In Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston the main character Janie is a woman who develops her identity throughout the novel by using the knowledge and experience she obtains from her three marriages Janies marriages to Logan Killicks Jody Starks and Tea Cake are the most crucial elements in her development as a woman After each relationship is over her attitude undergoes a metamorphosis directing her towards her eventual independence Janie through youth and lack of empowerment is mislead to believe other peoples definitions of love and marriage until she is strong enough to find a relationship on her own which satisfies her personal definitions of love and marriage The earliest influential moment on Janies view of love and marriage occurred at the age of sixteen in her Nannys back yard Janie lies beneath the pear tree when the inaudible voice of it all came to her She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight So this was a marriage She had been summoned to behold a revelation Hurston 11 Janies youthful idealism leads her to believe that this intense sensuality must be similar to the intimacy between lovers and she wishes to be a pear tree - any tree in bloom Hurston 11 The image suggests a wholeness - as bees pollinate blossoms paralleling human sexual intercourse From the beginning of her story under the pear tree Janie undergoes the process of self-discovery as she evolves through her experiences with three distinctly different husbands Janies first marriage to Logan Killicks is the result of an arrangement by Nanny Janies grandmother Nannys dream is for Janie to attain a position of security in society high ground as she puts it Hurston 13 As the person
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