Their Eyes Were Watching God

Characters' Pursuits of Dreams

I need to examine the pursuit of character's dreams in "Their Eyes Were Watching God". I also need some ideas for how those dreams contributed to the development of the characters through the story.

Any help would be great!


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Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men.

Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly. (1.1-2)

Women's dreams are realistic; they live them. Men on the other hand, often dream of the things they cannot have.

Janie stood where he left her for unmeasured time and thought. She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her. Then she went inside there to see what it was. It was her image of Jody tumbled down and shattered. But looking at it she saw that it never was the flesh and blood figure of her dreams. Just some thing she had grabbed up to drape her dreams over. In a way she turned her back upon the image where it lay and looked further. She had no more blossomy openings dusting pollen over her man, neither any glistening young fruit where the petals used to be. (6.186)

This section represents Jodie's shattered dream. Joe is not what she thought he was; she wanted an illusion.


Their Eyes Were Watching God