Their Eyes Were Watching God

Women’s Empowerment: Their Eyes Were Watching God and Love Medicine College

In the novels Their Eyes Were Watching God and Love Medicine, Hurston and Erdrich (respectively) use the characterization of the women to promote women’s empowerment and self-fulfillment. Lulu can be seen within Erdrich’s work as the stereotypical, “evil woman” who can’t find her proper place; however, through the writing devices presented by Erdrich, Lulu can also be seen as a symbol of female empowerment for her community. Somewhat like Erdrich, Hurston creates a powerful message within her characterization of Janey, which becomes the hope for a future generation of suppressed African-American women. Overall, these two authors paint a very striking picture of the power that these women possess, and of the barriers they must overcome to achieve true happiness.

In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie can be seen portrayed as a typical submissive African American woman. Janie is suppressed by the men within her life, who treat her as if she has no voice or opinion. This can be seen within all of her relationships including, her first marriage with Logan Killicks, an older man Janie’s grandmother forces her to marry. This can be seen as the very first barrier place in front of Janie at a very early age. As his wife she is forced...

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