Their Eyes Were Watching God Transcendentalism Analysis

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A particular Transcendentalist idea that is explored thoroughly in the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is the concept of self-reliance, which for the common man means following your own path through life regardless of what superior forces or society itself dictates. The main character, Janie, is an independent, strong-willed woman who does not accept her role in life as an attractive puppet under her dominant husband Jody’s control, and she rebels as much as she can in ways that are opposed to the social viewpoints of the people of Eatonville. They expect her to cherish the wealth and power she receives living under Jody’s wing, and act similarly to all the other obedient housewives that accept their fates in silence and without resistance. An important quotation from “Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson that portrays this idea is…show more content…
She habitually is known for not taking anyone’s advice without thinking deeply about how it might affect her, and is quick to prove her way if anyone sees differently. Her steely obstinance and fiery attitude is exactly what Transcendentalist thinkers like Emerson want to see amidst every group of people, because if just one person refuses to follow the leader off a cliff, then maybe the group is not doomed as a whole. Throughout history there have been people like Janie who will not accept anything as fact without deep thought and experimentation, and the world we live in today is as diverse and knowledgeable as it is as a result of their actions. If we as a society had looked at everything that was presented to us on face value, we would never have achieved so much and come as far as we have, as anyone that believes they are superior to anyone else in any way, shape, or form is only right up until he or she is

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