Their Eyes Were Watching God Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 85 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Their Eyes Were Watching God.
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Search for Self

Although the novel follows Janie through three relationships with men, most critics see its main theme to be Janie's search for herself. She must fight off the influences of her grandmother, who encourages her to sacrifice self-fulfillment for security, and her first two husbands, who stifle her development. Her second husband, Jody, has an especially negative impact on Janie's growth as his bourgeois aspirations turn her into a symbol of his stature in the town. She is not allowed to be herself, but must conform to his notions of propriety, which means she cannot enjoy the talk of the townsfolk on the porch, let alone participate in it. After he is elected mayor, she is asked to give "a few words uh encouragement," but Jody interrupts the applause by telling the town, "mah wife don't know nothin "bout no speech-makin'. Ah never married her for her...

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This section contains 1,288 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Their Eyes Were Watching God Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Their Eyes Were Watching God from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.