Their Eyes Were Watching God

Love in Their Eyes Were Watching God 12th Grade

In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, the reader sees one character’s journey towards figuring out love. Janie Crawford, the protagonist, deciphers through experience what love actually is. Through her text, Hurston discusses love versus independence and speech versus silence.

The theme of love versus independence emerges from the start of the novel. Janie Crawford, an attractive, dreamy child then confident woman, first lives with her grandmother, Nanny. Because of her upbringing in slavery, Nanny’s view of love is skewed to be all about security, especially financially. After experiencing slavery and poverty, Nanny wants Janie to find a partner who can care for and provide for her. Janie sees love differently when she looks at a pear tree one day. She saw a “dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes 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!” (Hurston 11). The tree needed the bee and the bee needed the tree. Both things in the relationship had a purpose and helped to strengthen the other. Without each other, neither would thrive. Janie saw...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 741 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4429 literature essays, 1449 sample college application essays, 183 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in