Books and Movies Reviews

Their Eyes Were Watching God

According to Wendy McCredie, "Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God establishes a female voice of authority not only on the simple level of authorship, but also on the more complicated level of self-authorization" (16: 25).Janie, all her life had been pushed around.She was told what to do, what to wear and how to live her life.She searched high and low to find a peace that would make her feel like a complete person.She wanted something to make her feel like she was, in fact, an individual. For the forty years of Janie's life, she learns how to achieve her voice against the opposition of men, her husbands.She spent part of her youth under the pear tree, while gathering her complex thoughts about sex, marriage, and womanhood, Janie finally articulated her own voice, and through the voice, herself.
The pear tree gave Janie self-awareness.It was Janie's "get-a-way" spot to gather her complex thoughts.Critic Robert Gaspar, states "Hurston creates an almost palpable sense of atmosphere in the early stages of the novel" (Gaspar).At age sixteen, Janie laid beneath the pear tree when, "the inaudible voice of it all came to her.She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyses 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" (11).Janie's youthful idealism lead her to believe that the intense sensuality she had seen must have been similar to the intimacy between lovers, and she wished "to be a pear tree-any tree in bloom!" (11).This image suggests wholeness. Bees pollinating blossoms are parallel to human sexual intercourse. Janie finds this missing in her marriages to both Logan Killicks and Joe "Jody" Starks. However, she fina…

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