Their Eyes Were Watching God is a story about the life of Janie Crawford and the hardships and triumphs in her three marriages, though there were many more hardships. In this essay, I will share with you the setting, some characters, incidents from the plot, the theme, and point of view. This story begins in the 1930s when Janie returns to her home in Eatonville, Florida.
She then recounts her life story to her closest friend, Phoeby. The story shifts to various cities in South Florida, primarily Eatonville and the Florida Everglades. Janie Crawford, the main character, was a fair-skinned black woman admired by many. She was married three times; her first marriage was arranged by her grandmother when she was sixteen. Janie displayed her independence and identity when she left her first husband and lived alone for months after her second husband died. Throughout her life, Janie demonstrated a courageous personality as she traveled from marriage to marriage without thinking twice.
Tea Cake Woods, Janie’s third husband, was a younger man in his thirties. He was a free-spirited, nomadic person whose main source of income was derived from gambling. Tea Cake met his death when, in a rabid rage, he was shot in self-defense by Janie. Janie’s first marriage came unexpectedly; she was sixteen years old and forced by her grandmother to grow up.”
She married Logan Killicks, a landowner who forced Janie into hard labor, something she was not accustomed to. This led to her abandoning the marriage and running off to marry Joe Starks, her second husband. Joe Starks was a wealthy man and promised Janie that if she were his wife, she would not have to plow the fields, but offered her the ‘key to the kingdom’. In exchange for that, Janie had to succumb to demeaning insults and silence.
She lived with Joe Starks for twenty years until he died. Nine months later, she married Tea Cake Woods and moved to the Everglades. I feel that the theme of this book is attaining self-expression by going out and finding it for yourself. It was something that Janie had wanted her whole life but did not achieve until she met her last husband, Tea Cake. The point of view of this story was omniscient.
Although the story was being told by Janie Crawford at all times, the reader knew what everyone else’s thoughts were. For instance, when Janie went to find the doctor, you knew what was happening in the house with Tea Cake. I believe that this was a pretty decent book. At times, it was boring and uninteresting, but at other times, it was entertaining. In many instances, the dialogue was hard to understand and follow. I believe that without it, the book would not have the same impact on the reader and would lose its life.