Their Eyes Were Watching God

Why is Jaine metaphorically compared to a pear tree?

Jaine is compared to a pear tree a lot in this novel. The one that srikes me the most is when her sexuality awakens under a pear tree. So, i was wondering why Jaine and the pear tree were compared and what they shared in common.

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Yes Jill I get that part. The part I dont get is why Pear tree? why not apple or mango? Why Pear?

Chapter Two presents the story of Janie's childhood and of her sexual awakening. An important symbol that emerges in this chapter and continues to appear throughout the novel is the pear tree, which is a metaphor for Janie. It blossoms when Janie blooms, just when Janie has her sexual epiphany. The first sentence of the chapter is very important: "Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things done and undone. Dawn and doom was in the branches." Janie's sexuality is always regarded by the author as natural.

One scene in this chapter that has intense thematic importance is the love scene between Janie and Johnny Taylor. First, it is important to note that Janie feels no affection or interest in Johnny prior to her sexual epiphany under the pear tree. But after she witnesses the beauty of the bees and the blossoms, Janie wonders, "Where are the bees singing for me?" She is able to project her own desires (the desires to find a mate that is worthy of her) on to Johnny Walker. This ability to create a fantasy demonstrates a large difference between Janie and the other women in the story. Whereas the other women accept their condition, Janie has the power to see what she wants to see. She projects her dream into the world, and then transcends reality.


I believe this was the author's choice. It could have been an apple tree, as apple trees blossom in the same way. None-the-less, the author went with a pear tree. We are given no exact reason.