Their Eyes Were Watching God
Their Eyes Were Watching God is a novel written by Zora Neale Hurston in 1937. This is a story of Janie Crawford, a black woman who is living in southern Florida in the early 20th century. The novel starts around 1928 with 40 year old Janie who returns home in Eatonville after being away from home for a year. The townspeople are talking all around town and why she has come back home. Pheoby, Janie best friend, goes to talk to her to find out why she is back. Janie tells Pheoby the whole story, from her childhood to the present.
Hurston is celebrated for singular use of language – rural southern black dialect. Her use of language parallels with Janie’s search to find her own voice. Hurston’s writing is of the significance of poetry, intensely communicative, possessed of an original rhythm that speaks genuinely to the consciousness. The novel is full of humor and warmth.
SUMMARY-Their Eyes Were Watching God
Janie Crawford is a confident, attractive and middle-aged black woman who returns home to Eatonville. The townspeople are gossiping why she has returned and what happened to her husband Tea Cake. Her best friend Pheoby visits her to find out why she is back. Janie and Pheoby’s conversation frames the story that Janie reveals.
Janie’s grandmother raised her after her mother abandoned her. Nanny loves Janie and she is very dedicated to her but Nanny’s life as a slave and her experience with her daughter has bended her beliefs about life. Her main wish is to marry Janie to a man who can provide her social status and security. Nanny is insisting that Janie marries an old farmer Logan Killicks.
Janie is not happy with Logan. Logan is pragmatic and not romantic. One day, a young ambitious and charming man Joe Starks walks casually down the road in front of the farm. Janie and Joe are flirting in secret and Janie runs off with him and marries Joe.
Janie calls her new husband Jody. They travel to Eatonville. Jody is very ambitious and wants to become the mayor and the biggest landlord in town. But Janie wants something more than that. Very soon she becomes disappointed with her monotonous life with Jody. She wants to be a part of the rich social life but Jody forbids her to socialize with the common people. Jody wants to shape Janie into a perfect mayor’s wife. Janie submits to Jody, but inside she is full of dreams.