Janie Crawford, the main character of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes WereWatching God, strives to find her own voice throughout the novel and, in myopinion, she succeeds even though it takes her over thirty years to do it. Eachone of her husbands has a different effect on her ability to find that voice. Janie discovers her will to find her voice when she is living with Logan. Since she did not marry him for love, tensions arise as time moves on and Loganbegins to order her around. But Janie is young and her will has not yet beenbroken. She has enough strength to say “No” and to leave him by running awaywith Joe.Order now
At this point, Janie has found a part of her voice, which is her notwilling to be like a slave in her husband’s hands. After Janie marries Joe, I think that she discovers that he is not theperson she thought he was. He tells her what to do the same way Logan did, justa little bit more delicately by saying that it is not a woman’s job to dowhatever he does not want her to do. Throughout her twenty years of life withJoe, Janie loses her self-consciousness because she becomes like a little kidbeing told what to do by an adult, Joe. She does it without even questioningherself, which is why I think that she loses the part of her voice that she hasdiscovered by running away from Logan. At times, she has enough courage to sayno to Joe, but he always has something to say back that discourages Janie fromcontinuing her argument.
But, in my opinion, Janie does not lose her will tofind herself and it might have even become stronger because the reader can seethat Janie is not happy with the way things are now and that she will probablywant to change them in the future. When Joe dies and Janie marries Tea Cake, she feels free because eventhough Tea Cake asks for her opinion when he does something and cares about her. Since this is Janie’s first marriage where she actually loves her husband, shefeels free and discovers many new things in life that she has not noticed before. She becomes more sociable, wants to go places with Tea Cake, enjoys workingwith other people, and likes shooting game.
Although she never shot a riflebefore, she becomes a better shooter that Tea Cake, and he respects her for that,which allows Janie to get back her self-respect which she had lost while beingwith her previous husbands. In a way, Janie’s spiritual awakening begins whenshe lives with Tea Cake. As the reader can see, Janie has a hard life where she has to strugglein order not to become inferior to her husbands. She succeeds when she is withTea Cake, which also marks the time when her inner voice starts to awaken.
Butnot until after Tea Cake’s death does she realize that she has understood herplace in life, or in other words, she has found her voice.Category: English