Definition of Love
Love is an invincible feeling that is given to people by God. Nobody can live a blissful life without it: each day becomes routine and lacks something important and thrilling. The protagonist of Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God is a black woman Janie Mae Crawford, whose journey to love is challenging. Her failures in her first two marriages gave her invaluable experience. The current paper seeks to discuss a difficult path toward love and self-independence of the novel’s main heroine and interpret her own ideals and definitions of love.
Janie’s vision of love develops throughout the storyline gradually. As a teenager, she matches the notions of love and marriage. Forced to marry a respectable old farmer Logan Killicks at the age of sixteen, Janie finds herself a victim of the old-fashioned worldview of her nanny. Logan sees nothing more than a laborer in his newly-minted wife. Once she comes to her nanny saying: “You told me Ah mus gointer love him, and, and Ah don’t”. Her second marriage is not happy at all too. Being unable to endure the slavery-like life with her first husband, Janie marries a promising man Joe Starks (Jody) whom she once meets going by the farm. However, Joe treats Janie only as a suitable ornament to his success. After the death of Jody, the woman enjoys the newly-gained freedom until she meets Tea Cake, who is twenty years younger than her. Janie and Tea Cake fall in love with each other and struggle for their love until the very end. They survive the horrible hurricane and flood together. Unfortunately, being bit by a rabid hound Tea Cake falls severely ill. Once in the bout of madness he tries to kill Janie and falls dead as she shots him with a rifle in self-defense. The jury in court discharge her and she comes back to Eatonville trying to tell the true story to her bosom friend Pheoby.
Generally speaking, Janie’s idea of love is mutual love, not unrequited one. She believes that sincere feelings are much more important than wealth and social status. She says, “Ah want things sweet wid mah marriage lak when you sit under a peer tree and think”. Janie yearns for romantic love full of sweetness and beauty, which Logan and Jody cannot give her. Only Tea Cake manages to satisfy her hunger for love despite the fact that their love story is destined to be tragic. Janie views the love she and Tea Cake share as her life’s fulfilment. Even after the death of her beloved, the woman is grateful for the moments they shared together. She feels the presence of Tea Cake in her life even after he died: Janie thanked him wordlessly for giving her the chance for loving service. Eventually, the protagonist finds self-fulfillment she struggled for beyond the relationships. She learns from her three marriages that happy and lasting relationships should be based on true love and mutual respect.
The main heroine of Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God Janie experiences failures in her two first marriages. Her first expectations of love come from her granny’s upbringing. However, gradually, Janie learns that love and understanding are more important than social status for happy relationships. Her third marriage is the happiest one as she finds her true love. The novel is a vivid manifestation of invincible human feelings.
About the author:
Paul Martinez, as a former journalist, he knows how powerful a word could be. Now he is a blogger and writer at https://writer-elite.com company. Working with experts in academic writing is a pleasure. And he is happy to share my experience with those who are only learning. His motto is: "Live the life you love, love the life you live".