Their Eyes Are Watching God: Revised

By , Oak Park, IL
Janie, from Zora N. Hurston’s Their Eyes Are Watching God, is not alone the fact that she struggles through her life striving for freedom from herself, and those she loves. From one forced abusive relationship to the next, she strives to hold her head up high and to make herself happy no matter who attempted to bring her down and attempted to tell her different. And that is something women still go through today. Some have an outlet and are able to escape in order to take their stress out on other habits and goals were as other woman’s lives were taken away too soon. Having to go through manipulative manors such as being; lied to, guilt tripped, and beaten is strictly unfair, it’s sickening. Though unfortunately whenever Janie attempted to stick up for herself, she was struck and left alone to sit with her thoughts and the burning stain on her cheek. “Janie stood where he left her for unmeasured time and thought. She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her.”(72) The strong belief she had for love, somewhat confused her with the difference of how to be treated properly, and being mistreated. More thinking that the mistreatment was out of love.




















In this book, Janie serves as a role model for some women who may have possibly been mistreated in a relationship. To anyone who was physically or mentally hurt. Many people can more relate to her and on how she felt with the feeling of being abused and left alone with no one who could have help. Maybe relating to the feeling of guilt, in the sense that possibly the reason for the abuse is put on their own shoulders because it was “their own fault” for being the way that they were. Or the feeling of pain in the physical manor. I personally, can relate to Janie in the sense of guilt. I too had gone through -in a way- an abusive relationship. After taking a certain class for young girls my age, it made me realize now that I wasn’t treated the way I deserved. Though back then, I felt as though I deserved it. That relationship went on for quite a while but it wasn’t necessarily physical. I never knew that it would be considered “abusive” if he hurt me without hitting me. Like Janie’s other significant others, he had such a way with words. He had that ability to turn any argument we had against me to make me doubt myself and feel bad for whatever I didn’t do. And again, just like Janie’s significant others, he would criticize me and shoot down anything I took interest in. And made me feel really bad about myself sometimes. I found it funny throughout the book when I was reading, that whatever happened to Janie, whatever he would say to her, I always thought ‘Oh my god, he used to do just that!’ Though he would always tell me that I was “hot” or “beautiful”, those were just passes to show that he was actually attracted to me and not just manipulating me for power.
Janie was forced to wear her hair up and to hide it from the other men who would ogle her because of the horrible manipulative/possessive monster he was. “He felt like rushing forth with the meat knife and chopping off the offending hand. That night he ordered Janie to tie up her hair around the store. That was all. She was there in the store for him to look at, not those others.”(55) He tried to keep her away from other men in fear that she might leave him for another man. This is exactly what I went through at some point in that relationship. I wasn’t allowed to hang out with my guy friends or alone, even hug them. Even if I was- like any other girl- bored with my looks, I wasn’t able to dye my hair, or wear whatever kind of makeup I wanted. He was able to keep me safely in a little trap where he could bully me into feeling however he wanted me to feel. Guilt, being the main tool of choice. He was insecure and feared the one pure thought that I would realize that I was better than him and leave him for someone else.
I believe Janie was a hero to herself. In the sense that she managed to make herself happy despite the pain she was put through by the ones she loved. She managed to get out without turning back. I was able to get out of it in a way. I try and make myself happy as well and I try not to look back even though it’s been hard. I’ve taken a few glances back and eventually fell back. But in that sense of Janie being a hero for her, by escaping from that cage she was held in, I have high respect for her. She stuck up for herself. She escaped.





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