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Eatonville, West Florida, and the Development of Janie Crawford

            Janie Crawford is unlike any character in the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. She is divergent and develops in different manners. Two places in the novel play major roles in the development of Janie. One being the west florida area where she was raised by Nanny and married to her first husband Logan Killicks, and the other place being the small town of Eatonville. In West Florida and Eatonville Janie develops economically, physically, psychologically and socially.
             To begin, the West Florida area where Janie spent the majority of her young life she was well taken care by her grandmother Nanny, a former slave. Nanny made it her priority to have Janie be raised in a home of her own. In the beginning of the novel, Janie explains to her dear and close Pheoby everything that led to her return to Eatonville. She mentions to Phoebe that when she was a young girl she and Nanny lived in the backyard of Nanny's former owners. Janie wore hand me downs from the grandchildren of the Washburns. The result was Janie standing out because her clothes, although hand me downs, were better quality than her peers at school. This was the beginning of Janie developing into herself because she always stood out. Nanny senses her granddaughters struggle of being teased at school so she worked hard enough to buy land, but eventually the burden taking care of Janie became too rough. Nanny says "And, Janie, maybe it wasn't much, but Ah done de best Ah kin by you. Ah raked and scraped and bought dsilil piece uh land so you wouldn't have to stay in the white folks' yard and tuck yo' head befo' other chillun at school" (19). Nanny was getting old and wanted to die in peace knowing that Janie was going to be a decent woman and would be well off so she arranges a marriage for Janie to Logan Killicks. Logan Killicks isn't the ideal husband material that Janie had in mind, but he was hardworking and owned six acres of land.

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