Love in Zora Neale Hurston’s Novel

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In Their Eyes Were Watching God, there were many themes represented. One of the major themes in this story was love. This topic affects the characters in many different ways. The author, Zora Neale Hurston, begins this book with the readers being captivated by a glimpse of the present before she jumps into a flashback of the main character’s journey. When the readers read each chapter, they meet different characters who will become important later on in the book. We see the strong emotions in these characters come to life in detail by the author. The main character of the novel, Janie, goes through a life journey of learning to know who she is and how to face difficult situations headon. It begins the story from an emotional standpoint.

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Love can be found very easily by people, but for Janie it was more of a challenge She didn’t end up finding true love until after she had been married twice. Because of that Janie didn’t end up finding true love until she was older. Nanny taught her to protect herself from love so it was much harder for Janie to actually find her true love. Janie does everything that she can to find the love that she actually deserves, with that being said she goes through a few guys just to find it. Having three relationships helped Janie understand life and also helped her learn from those relationships. Janie ended up marrying a man named Logan Killicks because her Nanny had set them up. She hoped that marrying Logan would end her loneliness and that she would love him no matter what. The longer that Janie was married to Logan, the more she couldn’t find anything to love about him. Janie figured out that Logan only wanted her to help him by working on his farm.

Basically, Logan treated Janie like his slave and got mad at her if she didn’t work with him. From this relationship, Janie learned that marriage didn’t make love. “The familiar people and things had failed her so she hung over the gate and looked up the road towards way off. She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman” (Hurston 25).

Janie gets irritated with Logan and decides that it’s time for her to run off. She ends up meeting a man named Joe Starks. Janie was thinking that maybe for once she had actually found true love, something that everyone deserves. Joe and Janie come across a small town named Eatonville. He asks if he can speak to the mayor, but turns out the town does not have one. Joe ends up becoming the mayor of the town. Janie realizes that Joe is just like Logan Killicks, but just in a different way. She realizes that Joe is quite controlling and never wants her to go hangout with her friends and have fun. When things between Janie and Joe start getting worse Janie finally tells Joe that he has been treating her poorly. In this horrendous relationship between them, Janie learns how to finally be herself around others.

As Janie is reaching her third relationship, she realizes that Tea Cake is the man of her dreams. When she is with Tea Cake, she has the freedom that she has always wanted. Dating Tea Cake makes it so much easier for Janie to make and have new friends.

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Love In Zora Neale Hurston's Novel. (2019, May 29). Retrieved February 5, 2023 , from

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