Their Eyes Were Watching God
Their Eyes Were Watching God is a story about the life of Janie
Crawford and the hardships and triumphs in her three marriages, though there
were many more hardships. In this essay I will share with you the setting, some
characters, incidents from the plot, the theme, and point of view.
This story begins in the 1930’s when Janie returns to her home in
Eatonville, Florida. She then begins to recount her life story to her closest
friend, Phoeby. The story then shifts on to various cities in South Florida,
primarily Eatonville and the Florida Everglades.
Janie Crawford, the main character, was a fair-skinned, black woman
who was admired by many. She was married three times; her first marriage
was at the age of sixteen which was arranged by her grandmother. Janie
displayed a streak of her independence and identity when she left her first
husband, and lived alone for months after her second died. Throughout her life
Janie demonstrated a courageous personality as she traveled from marriage to
marriage without thinking twice.
Tea Cake Woods, Janie’s third husband, was a younger man in his
thirties. He was a free-spirited, nomadic person, who’s main source of income
was derived from gambling. Tea Cake met his death when in a rabid rage, he
was shot in self-defense by Janie.
Janie’s first marriage came unexpectedly, she was sixteen years old and
forced by her grandmother to ‘grow up’;. She married Logan Killicks, a
landowner who forced Janie into hard labor, something she not was
accustomed to. This led to her abandoning the marriage and running off to
marry Joe Starks, her second husband.
Joe Starks, was a wealthy man and promised Janie that if she were his
wife she would not be out plowing the fields, but offered her the ‘key to the
kingdom’;. In exchange for that Janie had to succumb to demeaning insults and
to silence. She lived with Joe Starks for twenty years until he died. Nine
months later she married Tea Cake Woods, and moved to the Everglades.
I feel that the theme of this book is attaining self expression, by going
out and finding it for yourself. It was something that Janie had wanted her
whole life but did not achieve until she met her last husband Tea Cake.
The point of view of this story was omniscient. Although the story was
being told by Janie Crawford at all times the reader knew what everyone else’s
thoughts were. For instance, when Janie went to find the doctor you knew what
was happening in the house with Tea Cake.
I believe that this was a pretty decent book, at times it was boring and
uninteresting, but at other times it was entertaining. In many instances the
dialog was hard to understand and follow. I believe that without it the book
would not have the same impact on the reader and would lose its life.