Their Eyes Were Watching God Chapter 19
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In certain scenes, for example the court scene, Janie's voice is entirely absent from the narration. Some critics have argued that places where the reader hears Janie's voice indicate places where Janie has power. In the court scene, the fact that Janie does not have power is reinforced by the fact that her voice does not mediate what is happening. Janie feels she has little to no connection or away with the people in the courtroom. Thus, critics argue, Janie fails in her quest to find her voice, because when it really matters most she is unable to speak out in her own defense.
Other critics, particularly Alice Walker, take an opposite line of reasoning: a woman who has a voice has power and may choose when to use her voice and when to keep silent. Walker argued that Janie has power in the final scene; she chooses not to use her voice because she knows that it would not help her.