the eyes were watching god

June 7, 2011
By , River Forest, IL
Most girls at the age of 16 can not say that they’re independent, but I believe that I am incredibly independent. I live with my sister, I drive for two hours to Wauconda Monday through Thursday and sometimes Saturday and Sunday for cheer practice, I get more chores and homework done when I’m by myself, I have a job, I sometimes cook for myself, and I pay for a lot of my bills. One week, my mother and sister went on vacation to Brazil. My mom asked me to stay at her house so that I could watch the house and keep things in order. That week I cooked for myself, went to work and practice on time, and managed to keep the house clean. I made sure that I managed my money while my mom and sister were away. My mom was surprised to be home and see the house in order upon her return. In the book Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie’s independence began after her grandmother’s death, leaving Logan, falling in love with Joe, and killing Tea Cake. Although Janie was not independent at the beginning, throughout the book Janie becomes in control of her life. When it comes to independence between Janie and I, I feel that were are alike because it took a lot of time to become independent.
Janie’s grandmother was extremely protective of her after her mother became an alcoholic and abandoned her. Her grandmother practically ran her life leaving Janie without the ability to live her own life like she wanted to. She was forced to marry Logan, a man who she didn’t love and a man that didn’t take care of her. “The familiar people and things had failed her so she hung over the gate and looked up the road towards way off. She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman” (p.25). Janie’s grandmother dies and she goes to the pear tree and contemplates about her life. This passage shows Janie is realizing the good and bad things in her life. She knows that her grandmother was wrong and that love didn’t come with marriage. Then she started to think about her future represented by her looking down the road, when she realizes that she does not love Logan. Janie’s dream of marrying someone she loved was now over and she was ready to let it go. After Nanny’s death, Janie began to realize things on her own and take matters into her own hands. Janie eventually left Logan which shows more of Janie’s independence.
Janie at this point is becoming more and more independent and begins to see the things that are going through her life. “Janie, if you think Ah aims to tole you off and make a dog outa you, youse wrong. Ah wants to make a wife outa you”
“You mean dat, Joe?”
“De day you puts yo’ hand in mine, ah wouldn’t let de sun go down on us single. Ah’m uh man wid principles. You ain't never knowed what it was to be treated lak a lady and ah wants to be de one tuh show yuh. Call me Jody lak you do sometime”
“Jody,” she smiled up at him, “but s’posin’-“
“Leave de s’posin’ and everything else to me. Ah’ll be down dis road uh little after sunup tomorrow mornin’ to wait for you. You come go wid me. Den all de rest of yo’ natural life you kin live lak you ought. Kiss me and shake yo’ head. When you do dat, yo’ plentiful hair breaks lak day” (p.29). Janie and Jody meet once again in the scrub oaks and they have a conversation. This passage shows that Janie and Jody actually like each other and for once Janie is falling in love on her own without someone forcing her to love. Jody explains to Janie that he doesn’t want to treat her like a dog which Logan does and that all he wants to do is make her his wife. Janie then questions him to see if he really means what he says. Janie likes what he is saying and lets Jody talk to her more. Jody then keeps explaining to Janie that once they are together she will never be sad and always be happy represented by “the sun”. Jody tells Janie he is a man with principles basically saying he knows what he wants and he gets them done. As well as the other things he told Janie, he says that Janie that she has never been treated like a lady and that he wants to be the one to show her what it feels like to be treated like one. He wants to show Janie a better life than what Logan has showed her and make her feel special. At this point you can tell that Janie likes what Jody is saying but she is still unsure about some things. Jody then tells her she does not have to worry about anything and asks her to leave town with him tomorrow so he can show her a better life. Janie goes to sleep later that night and she realizes that she wants to leave. Janie was then able to make the decision as to if she wanted to go with Jody or not on her own. She wasn’t forced by her grandmother or anyone. At this point Janie had control over her own life.
“It was the meanest moment of eternity. A minute before she was just a scared human being fighting for its life. Not she was her sacrificing self with Tea Cake’s head in her lap. She had wanted him to live so much and he was dead. No hour is ever eternity, but it has its right to weep. Janie held his head tightly to her breast and wept and thanked him wordlessly for giving her the chance for loving service. She had to hug him tight for soon he would be gone, and she had to tell him for the last time. Then the grief of outer darkness descended” (p.184)
Janie just killed Tea cake, the one she loved the most, because he got rabbies from a dog bite. Tea cake starts going crazy and tries to kill Janie. At this point Janie shows independence because she saves herself from getting killed and kills the love of her life. This passage shows Janie having courage and taking control of her life. Janie could have let Tea Cake kill her but she was looking after herself and did what she had to do to stay alive. Janie did not want Tea Cake to die but she knew if she didn’t kill Tea Cake that she would have died.
Janie and I both have grown to be independent and the reason why I chose Independence as my theme was because I believe that every one should be independent. No one should have to depend on anyone to get something done especially women. As I get older I see that more women are beginning to take control of their lives and becoming independent. Women that are push-overs usually don’t get anywhere in life and if they are dependent on their boyfriends/husbands and something bad happens to the relationship, the woman usually gets stuck with nothing. My mom is the perfect role model for an independent woman because she has two jobs and even though she has plenty of people she can count on she likes to do everything herself even when it’s not needed. My mother has taught me to be independent and that’s why I believe it important. Being independent is not easy but takes you far in life.

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