Their Eyes Were Watching God: Everybody Has To Find Out About Living For
Themselves


Janie Crawford evolving selfhood through three marriages. Fair-skinned,
long haired, dreamy as a child, Janie grows up expecting better treatment than
she gets. Living life as one man\'s mules or another man\'s adornment. Janie is
one black woman who does not have to live in lost sorrow, bitterness, fear, or
foolish romantic dreams, for Janie has learned "two things everybody\'s got tuh
do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about
livin\' fuh themselves." Janie Crawford is better off at the end of the noval
Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Janie is confused when she was a young woman. The noval explains her life
as a young girl. Her mother left her when she was really young. Janie never
met her. Her grandmother explains that her master raped her, "Den, one night ah
heard de big funs boomin\' lak thunder. It kept up all night. And de next
morin\' Ah could see uh big ship at a distance and a great stirrin\' round. So Ah
wrapped mah way on down to de landin\'. The men was all in blue, and Ah heard
people say Sherman was comin\' to meet de boats in Savannah, and all of us slaves
was free. So Ah run got mah baby and got in quotation wid people and found a
place Ah could stay." Grandmother was wanting to make a school teacher out of
Janie\'s mother. Janie found out that a school teacher rapped her mother so she
never met her father either. Janie\'s mother was seventeen, when she was
pregnant with Janie. After Janie was born, Janie\'s mother took to drinking a
lot. Janie\'s grandmother raised Janie since she was born, grandmother says
"Maybe it wasn\'t much, but Ah done de best Ah kin by you. Ah raked and scraped
and bought dis lil piece uh land so you wouldn\'t have to stay in de white folk\'s
yard and tuck yo\' head befor\' other chillun at school." When Janie turned
sixteen years of age, her childhood had ended with a kiss from a boy named
Johnny Taylor. Grandmother wanted to see her married at once but Janie did not
understand what was going on. Janie did not feel love for this man or any man
at this time but grandmother explains that she is not going to be around forever
and she wants to protect her from harm and danger. Janie\'s life as a young
person was a hardship she did not understand what purpose in life she has and
she does not understand what love is.
Janie dreams marriage will bring her love. Logon is a man wanting to marry
Janie. Janie had no chance to know things, so she had to ask. "Did marriage
end the cosmic loneliness of the unmated? Did marriage compel love like the sun
the day?" After Grandmother\'s talks and Janie\'s own conjectures she made a sort
of comfort for herself. She came to the conclusion that she would love Logon
after they were married. "I saw no other way for it to come about, but Nanny
and the old folks had said it, so it must be so. Husbands and wives always
loved each other, and that was what marriage meant. It was just so." Janie
felt glad for a moment in her life she felt that for then it wouldn\'t seem so
destructive and moldy. She would not be lonely anymore. Janie married Logan in
Nanny\'s parlor. Janie felt lonesome when she went to Logan\'s house "It was a
lonesome place like a stump in the middle of the woods where nobody had ever
been. The house was absent of flavor, too. But anyhow Janie went on inside to
wait for love to begin." After two months have gone by Janie had to reconsider
her marriage with Logon. "Janie waited a bloom time, and a green time and an
orange time. Nevertheless, when the pollen again gilded the sun and sifted down
on the world she began to stand around the gate and expect things." She did not
know exactly what to expect. "Janie knew that God tore down the old world every
evening and built a new one by sun-up." Janie knew now that marriage did not
make love. Her Grandmother dies and leave Janie to explore life for herself.
Janie\'s first dream was dead, so she became a woman.
Janie\'s marriage with Logan is