This novel is about an interesting classic tale about Janie Crawford. The identity of this woman takes her through several life processes whereby she gets a good opportunity to learn more about love, to differentiate lives’ joys and sorrows, and then settle in peace with much knowledge and skills concerning life.
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The life expectations of Janie especially how she was treated were very high than what she received. Her life started becoming real when she met young man called Tea Cake, who offered her an opportunity to enjoy life full of love. Although Janie’s story does not have a good ending, there is a conclusion that leaves readers with satisfaction.
It is a fact that Janie is a one black woman who tirelessly stood out from the bondage of sorrow, foolishness, and fear. She confesses that she had done the two most important things that any human being ought to do; one is to go to God, and the second one is to reveal the secret of how to live for her.
Motifs are structures that happen again and again in a piece of literature, and they help a reader or the audience to understand the theme of that piece of literature. For instance in this novel community is one of the motifs used by the author to assist the readers understand his themes.
When Janie returns to Eatonville, the author centers his attention to the porch-sitters who gossip openly about Janie’s situation (Hurston 86). There are two major places in the novel that the author puts significance, the Eatonville and the Everglades, the environment that Janie made interactions.
In several cases, we are shown Janie’s desire to be part of this vibrant social life, which she feels safe and well connected with other people. For instance in chapter 18, whereby Janie was in the company of Tea Cake, and Motor Boat when they were looking for a safe place to shelter from the rainstorm.
The author makes us aware that the group of these three characters sheltered themselves in shanties with others. The author did not literally mean that they shared the same room with them, but he wanted to show us how they united against that natural disaster which was devastating (Hurston 103).
However, the author indicates several occasions whereby Janie ridicules the gossip and rumors that exist in these communities. Most of these gossips found within these communities were to criticize Janie especially due to her independence nature and possession of a strong will power.
Most of people in these communities were trying to demonstrate a negative picture of practicing unity, because they preferred the total sacrifice of individuality. On the other hand, Janie was against this type of sacrifice, a she was a strong woman who could not allow any person to control her life against her desires.
Janie cared much about the outcome of her deeds, and that is why she used to take her time before making such decisions. She did not mind how people in the surrounding community would say and think of her, but she always stood on her grounds.
Towards the end of the book, it is clearly indicated that Janie did not behave in such a manner because of fearing death, but she disliked misunderstanding of people (Hurston 186). In the efforts to understand herself better, Janie was very keen to understand what people in the community thought and said about her.
The major reason as to why Hurston used dialect in the novel is to put his story and his characters especially the main characters into the real life. The presence of dialect in a story makes the characters to appear real in the eyes of the reader. Whatever the character is saying or demonstrating becomes believable to the reader.
The efforts of the readers to familiarize themselves with the new used language make them end up feeling as part of the action or the story. This novel has made much use of the spoken version of the language, for instance, in early parts of the story Hurston acknowledges the readers that there would be use of dialect as the language of his characters. Readers are made aware that at a certain point Janie would narrate her story to Pheoby in “soft, easy phrases” (Hurston 102).
The use of play in the dialect used by Hurston in the novel is to bring out the imagination aspect in the story. When every character is made to act her or his parts, it becomes easier for the reader to understand the concept of the author and get the theme correctly.
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Through the use of play also makes the readers to master new and hidden concepts of the story, as it is easy to point out these concepts as the characters are role playing. Another important reason of Hurston to make use of the play is to improve the imagination aspect of the reader, which would in turn improve the understanding ability.
In addition to the use of dialect, Hurston as well made use of standard language as the main language to make the story flow, and to keep the reader in the right path. The story may lack its original taste incase the author decides to use dialect throughout the story. The mixture of the two languages is interesting and helps in drawing the attention of the reader.
The title of the novel has a greater significance in the story as it is assisting the author in bringing out several thoughts and ideas from the story to the real world of the reader. For instance, during a big party, the severe hurricane starts disturbing people and both the Tea Cake and the Motor Boat are much disturbed to a point of not concentrating with the party happenings (Hurston 98).
Janie tries to make them calm down assuring them that it’s God doing his work, and should not worry. They thought that the noise that they were making in the party was loud, but that one of thunder was very strong compared to theirs.
The implication of this strong sound of the thunder was that it was a natural occurrence from God, signifying itself as stronger than any sound from human beings. In the early stages of the story, we read about the power of nature of Janie’s gentle bee, which is the same power of nature shown by the storm.
The author uses the storm as a metaphor. Throughout the story, the power of God is signified through various natural phenomenons like the strong wind, thunder, storms, and the strength of the moving water in the lake (Hurston 152). All these natural aspects are used to illustrate the presence of God in the midst of these people, it was an indication that the strong power of God was watching over them in their doings.
Hurston, Neale. Their eyes were watching God. New York: Paradigm Publication, 2004.