Their Eyes Were Watching God Character Analysis

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Throughout literature minor characters often serve a purpose to show the major characters greatest strengths and weaknesses. In Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Jody’s role in Janie’s life serves a purpose to highlight her strengths and weaknesses. Hurston includes Jody in her novel to show one phase of Janie’s life where she seeks love and a voice within society. Jody, in turn, shows Janie’s ability to find her own voice and internal power but highlights Janie’s weakness in the fact that she has still not discovered her own true love and has not reached her horizon yet. As a result, one can see that love and voice are an essential part of life and without them, one’s soul and enjoyment of life can fade away. Jody first…show more content…
Jody does this by appearing as Janie’s horizon, the place where she places all her hopes and dreams. Originally, Janie was in her first marriage with Logan where she was expected to work in the fields and is not attracted to Logan’s old age and appearance. Then Janie meets Jody who promises she won’t have to work and she grows attracted to his youth and ambition. In seeing these qualities Janie views Jody as an opportunity to expand her horizons and dreams. Once there, however, she is faced with a different reality where Jody controls Janie and isolates her from friends. Furthermore, Jody forces Janie to work in a general store and their marriage has little communication and suffers. To Janie, Jody at first represented a new beginning and a chance to gain a life that would help her reach her dreams and find a stronger voice. Unfortunately for Janie, she also found the side of Jody who desired to have great influence and power over everyone else. His aspirations were many superficial and selfish as he found his happiness by showing off and asserting his dominance over the community of Eatonville and especially Janie. As a result, Janie finds that the horizon she once saw embodied in Jody was a misinterpretation of Jody’s true character and intentions. This shrinking horizon caused Janie to grow greatly distressed and she found herself unable to talk with her husband. Janie also found herself oppressed and trapped in a relationship that was destroying her chance at her own

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