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Literary Analysis - Their Eyes Were Watching God

            Throughout life everyone tries to find their identity. For some people finding their identity is easy or natural but for others it could take years before finding themselves. In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God written by Zora Neale Hurston; the author follows the protagonist, Janie Crawford. Her journey involved three marriages which helped serve as a stepping stone in her search for love and self-discovery. Having to transition from childhood to adulthood at the age of sixteen, Janie struggled with the life she dreamed of living. Growing up she symbolized a blossoming pear tree which represented the true meaning of love and marriage to her. It was at that moment when she knew what kind of love to search for and wouldn't stop until her life was as perfect as the pear tree. There are three significant plots throughout the novel that lead her to both love and self-discovery: marrying Logan Killicks, Jody Starks, and Vergible Woods.
             Growing up Janie was raised by her grandmother, Nanny. Once Janie was sixteen her Nanny married her off to a man named Logan. The reason for marrying Janie off at such a young age was because her nanny knew she wouldn't live for much longer and she couldn't bare the thought of Janie not being taken care of in life while she was gone. Logan who is a wealthy farmer with sixty acres of land marries Janie and quickly moves her into his house. It didn't take Janie long to know Logan wasn't the one to achieve the love she had in mind. Additionally, Janie decided to tell her Nanny that Logan wasn't meant to be loved. She said she did not like the way he looked, "his belly is too big, now, and his toe-nails look lak mule foots" (Hurston, 24) and "he don't even never mention nothin' pretty" (Hurston, 24). Instead, of showing her the affection she dreamed of Logan had her perform manual labor on his land. She came to the conclusion after her Nanny passed that he did not fit her mesmerizing image of a pear tree and that she didn't love him.

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