The novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, written by Zora Neale Hurston, centers around the life of Janie Crawford, a black woman in rural Florida. Janie was away for sometime from the town of Eatonville, in which she lived, and at the beginning of the novel, a friend, Pheoby Watson, asks Janie about her life while she was away. So Janie starts to tell the story of her life away from Eatonville, mostly affected by the three men she married during the time away. Each of the men, Logan Killicks, Joe Starks and Tea Cake, are all different in personality and the way they each treat Janie. Each of the men has also helped or hindered, in some cases, the growth of Janie as a woman of self-worth and confidence, but through her experiences with each man, Janie is able to persevere to find the spiritual enlightenment and identity that she searches for throughout her life.
First, Logan Killicks, the man with security and social status, introduced to Janie by her grandmother, serves to delay the growth of Janie, but helps her to refine her search for a good husband. Janie's marriage with Logan is one of no real inspiration. Logan's personality hinders the growth of Janie as a person because of his pursuit of only the necessary in life and nothing more. Logan did the work he needed to do and he had social status, but the thing that was lacking, was personality. He was unromatic, never doing anything special for Janie, and also he was just too ordinary for Janie. Janie was an attractive, confident woman, and being the total opposite of Logan, the marriage between the two does not work out at all. One day while Janie is on the farm, she spots Joe Starks and they secretively flirt for a couple of weeks, then Janie runs off with him.
Secondly, the marriage between Janie and Joe Starks also hinders Janie's growth as a person. Joe, called Jody, is the total opposite of Logan, but Jody is overbearing and cruel.