Love and Marriage Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is a novel about a Southern black woman and her experiences through life. Janie, the main character, is forced at a young age by her grandmother, into an arranged marriage with a man named Logan. Janie is told to learn to love Logan, but the love never comes for Logan in Janie’s heart so she leaves him. She meets a man named Joe.
Soon after they are married. Joe was sweet at first, then his true feelings about women come out and Janie looses her love she thought she had for him. He soon dies after their separation. Janie then falls in love with a man named Tea Cake. He is the man with whom she has a wonderful, loving, happy marriage. Janie, through youth and lack of empowerment, is mislead to believe other people’s 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.
Nanny, Janie’s grandmother, leads her to believe that love comes after marriage though love is secondary to the security marriage provides. Nanny feels marriage was simply for security and to start a family. ‘Taint Logan Killick’s Ah wants you to have baby, it’s protection.’ ; (pg. 14).
Nanny says this to Janie before her arranged marriage to Logan. Nanny wants Janie to be financially set with her life before she dies and leaves Janie to fend for herself.
... a marriage. Janie thought she could grow to love Logan, but did not. She soon learned that marriage did not make love. Logan did nothing wrong, Janie was ... time around is where Carrie and Janie suffer the worst consequences. Carrie meets a young man named Robert Ames. Despite the kindness ... her train ride to Chicago. A very handsome and rich man, Drouet, takes note of Carrie and begins talking to her ...
Nanny wants her to start a family. Nanny makes Janie think that love is just going to come along after the marriage. Right after Janie’s marriage to Logan, Janie says she is going togo into her kitchen and wait for the love to begin. Nanny lets Janie believe that you need a man to take care of you and provide for you. According to Nanny, you have to marry a man who has money because too much trouble comes with marrying a poor man. Joe marries Janie strictly for social appearance.
Joe wants to have empowerment and he thinks a woman, like Janie, would help his image. He wants to run a town and the only way he feels he can look good is to have a pretty woman by his side. In the beginning of their marriage Joe treats he like a queen. He tells her that his woman needs to relax in the shade sipping on molasses water and fanning herself from the hot sun. Janie fell in love with the idea. Joe’s words, however, were deceiving.
He actually means that woman need to stay home to cook and clean while the man goes out to make the money. Joe often puts Janie down in public saying things like, ‘Thank y uh fun yo compliments, but mah wife don’t know nothing bout no speech mak in. Ah married her for nothing law that. She’s a woman and her place is in de home.’ ; (pg. 40-41).
Joe publicly humiliates Janie constantly saying she is as low as mules.
Joe feels that his marriage is a part of his image, a part of his job. He does not marry her for love. Joe marries Janie to look good in front of the people who look up to him. Her marriage to Tea Cake is opposite from both of her previous marriages.
Tea Cake teaches Janie that women can do the same fun things that men can, like fishing and playing checkers. Tea Cake makes Janie feel like she can do anything. Tea Cake makes Janie a part of his social life and this is something new to Janie’s life. Tea Cake gives Janie a wonderful feeling. TeaCake makes her feel like an equal human being. The love she feels for Tea Cake and the love she is given in return helps Janie truly understand what love means.
Janie, finds in the end, that love is undeniable. It is a different experience for each person you spend your time with. Janie finds different kinds of ‘love’; with each of her husbands. Her marriage to Logan makes her realize that marriage does not bring love.
... explores the life of thie young woman illustrating the struggles Janie faces during each of her marriages as well as the things that ... when she knows that she doesn't love him. Unsatisfied with her marriage to Logan, Janie runs away to an all black community ... feels like she has regained her freedom. Shortly after Joe's death, Janie becomes involved with Tea Cake, a man who is ...
This experience makes her grow into a real woman. She grows up and starts to think for herself. Janie’s marriage to Joe is also a growing experience for her because it lether know that a man’s sweet words are not always true. She realizes that you have to get to know a person and build some trust and get to know a person before you get into a relationship. ‘Love is law de sea. It’s a, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets and its different with every shore.’ ; Janie is saying that love takes a different form depending on who you are with, each different person representing the shores.
This shows Janie’s growth because she says that no matter what you do you have to grow into a love and you can not predict what your next experience is going to be or even who it is going to be with. You can not prejudge love. It just comes naturally or it does not. You either connect with a person or you do not. Janie takes each person she is close to and all the situations her life brings to her forms her own opinions on love. Janie grows from a dreamy child with her fairytale thoughts on love to knowing that you can not predict what comes in the future.
Janie went from letting everyone in her life telling her what love means to having a set definition, a personal definition, on what love really means to her. Not one person can come and tell Janie anything different about love. Janie finally has a mind of her own.