Janie’s grandmother wants her to be secure and marries her off to Logan, a much older man. Janie’s light is diminished because she has to do what Logan tells her. She has to work in the potato field. Joe thinks a woman shouldn’t have to work in the field. She should sit on the porch fanning herself. Janie likes the way Joe talks. She runs off with Joe, but he forces her to submit to him and work in the store. Janie is good at keeping up appearances, but as Joe gets sick she begins to stand up for herself. Joe cannot allow Janie to take care of him because then he is weak. Joe passes away and Janie gets the chance to be herself.
Janie meets Tea Cake who is her true love. He allows her to be herself. Tea Cake knows that Janie is the prize and she is her own person. She can uncover her hair and wear it anyway she likes. He isn’t telling her what to do. Everyone thinks Tea Cake will run off with her money, but Jane loves him without hesitation.
Their Eyes Were Watching God details a journey of love with all the mistakes that Janie makes to find love and herself. Zora Neale Hurston writes to make you grasp the two worlds where some of us live. There’s a world of people who are code -switching regularly and Zora Neale Hurston masterfully illustrates how to communicate on both sides. She can captivate the audience of average people, country people, and well-educated people. She has the ability to eloquently communicate across generations. Zora Neale Hurston amazes me with her ability to create a story that has so many timeless lessons.
Zora Neale Hurston’s Barnard education shows through each book she writes. We have to accept her literary genius and being able to enroll at a university that wasn’t admitting African-Americans. She will always be remembered as an extraordinary talent.