Books and Movies Reviews

Criticism on Their eyes were watching god

The image of "pear tree", "the road", and "horizon" all symbolize Janie's individual quest

for self identity. Janie tries to look for her identity in a society both as a woman and a black

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person but both are neither appreciated in the white male-dominated world. The narration which

Janie uses makes her strong and serves as her power for attaining and protecting the basis of

African-American culture. As a woman, Janie claims her self and asserts her will to live her own

life. She makes her own voice and that means she attempts the possibilities of new Black voices

and new stories that reflect new realities.Janie's search for inner self may well be parallel to

African-American's search for their own culture by protecting their oral traditions.

It is significant that there is a lack of generation between Janie and her grandmother. Janie

is brought up by her grandmother, not by her mother. The gap between two generations is so

strong. Her inner voice raisesfirst as she replaces her search for identity by the pear tree image

that signifies a happy and romantic marriage. Then, her search for self identity shapes in her

mind through her romantic beliefs.As Nanny's death freed Janie from her snare, so Jody's death

frees her from the second entrapment that makes her deal with her quest. Therefore, she becomes

an active figure in planning her own life.One of the critics Missy Dehn Kubitschek asserts

"detailing her quest for self-discovery and self-definition, it celebrates her as an artist who

enriches Eatonville by communicating her understanding"The novel depicts "an individual

seeking an authentic place in a community".This shows,the sense of belonging to a community

provides the sense of cultural and self-identity.

When Janie is back in Eatonville after Tea Cake's death, s…


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