Their Eyes Were Watching God

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade October 2001

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An analysis of Janie's relationships in the novel by Zora Neale Hurston.

It is pretty much general opinion that good relationships aren't easy to find or to keep, and the character of Janie in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God would most likely agree. Of the three relationships that Janie had, only one would be considered a good and mutually satisfying relationship.

There are several things most experts agree help to make a good, lasting relationship. An ideal relationship is one in which both partners are able to feel secure in expressing their differences, anger, and conflict. Three very important qualities in developing such a relationship are commitment, respect, and trust. These qualities help couples confront adverse issues while still maintaining their bond. Also, it is generally agreed that laughter and a sense of humor help to keep things in perspective and keep the partners from becoming bored or isolated.

All relationships require ongoing, conscious attention in order to survive and it is important to keep the feeling of love alive.

Janie's first marriage was not her own choice. Her grandmother, Nanny, felt that black women were the mules of the world. Nanny did not want Janie to be anyone's pack mule, and she believed that by ensuring financial security and respectability for Janie she would save her from that fate. Nanny arranged for Janie to marry Logan Killicks, with the idea that he would provide those things for her. To Nanny, those things were most important. She even admonished Janie for complaining that she did not love Logan. Ironically, when it became clear that Janie did not return his affection, Logan tried to force her into the servitude that Nanny feared. He planned to make her work at his side in the fields in addition...

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