"Their Eyes Were Watching God" By Zora Neale Hurston Analyzes How Three Major Characters Obtained Personal Fulfillment Through Means Of Power And Conquest

624 words - 3 pages

In the novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston, three major characters obtained personal fulfillment through means of power and conquest. Janie finds true love and inner meaning with Tea Cake, Jody controls Janie, and Tea Cake supports his loving wife.Firstly, Janie obtains fulfillment by experiencing true love. As a child, she never truly understood herself. She did not even realize that she was black until she saw a picture of herself. Her lost sense of identity is effectively shown when people call her by different names. She gets married multiple times, but marriage does not always equal love. "You ain't got no particular place. It's wherever Ah need yuh. Git uh move on yuh, and dat ...view middle of the document...

By searching for love and finding it within Tea Cake, Janie gains personal fulfillment via conquest.Secondly, Janie's husband, Jody, wants nothing else but to control her. "Why, Janie! You wouldn't be seen at uh draggin'-out, wouldja?" says Joe (60). Joe wants to know where Janie is at all times. He is cruel and arrogant; as a mayor, he treats Janie like an object. As mentioned before, Jody silences Janie and requires her to tie her hair up in a crude show of ownership. Before he dies, he obtains a twisted sense of fulfillment knowing that he had Janie in his wicked possession.Finally, Tea Cake also obtains his own personal fulfillment by supporting Janie. Although he is twelve years younger than Janie, he loves her for who she is and respects her. Tea Cake teaches Janie how to use a gun, and risks his life to save her during the hurricane. Ironically, Janie ends up killing Tea Cake in a symbolic act of independence. Although tragic, Tea Cake is content in knowing that he did not die in vain; he fulfilled his goal of supporting Janie through life. "Janie buried Tea Cake in Palm Beach. She knew he loved the 'Glades…" (189) This quote shows that Janie genuinely cared for Tea Cake, which was what Tea Cake wanted in the first place - to show Janie how to care and love others.In conclusion, Zora Neal Hurston greatly displayed the acquirement of personal fulfillment through means of power and conquest on at least three major characters in Their Eyes Were Watching God. This novel is a prime example of characters and their personal fulfillments.Work CitedHurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York: Harper, 1937.

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