For quite some time, marriage has always been viewed as a bond between two individuals who are in love.
Not many people are aware of the fact that the ideals associated with marriages always differ from one person to another. The novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God written by Zora Neale Hurston profoundly demonstrates something completely different regarding marriages. The main character Janie initially was among the people who believed in marriages and love until she gets married three times and her perception changes entirely from her experience. Her marriage resulted in the development of self, and moreover, she gets to learn the truth of love and life. Despite her challenges, Janie still has the will of living and finding love, and this explains why she gets married more than once something many people don’t have the luxury of experiencing. Each marriage Janie undergoes, she gets a new experience and is still persistent to find her true identity and true love.
Two men who played a crucial role in Janie’s life were Joe Starks and Tea Cake. Joe Starks was Janie’s second husband, and just like the first, he never showed Janie true love. From this marriage, Janie learned that she needed to think of her happiness and should be with a person who promotes equality. To Starks, Janie was more of a trophy and not her wife.
Initially, Janie was attracted to Starks because of his big dreams and success. In the end, Joe ended up treating Janie as a bonus and accessory to his triumph. In one instance, Janie was heard saying, “……I knew you were not going to listen to me. You change everything, but nothing changes you even death……I ain’t going out here, and I am not going to hush.
.” (pg 86) This quote shows that Janie was fed up with Joe after realizing that he never respected her. Janie left Joe and got married to Tea Cake who was now her third husband. Tea Cake did show Janie that true love does exist despite never being shown love in her two marriages.
Before getting married to Tea Cake, Janie took her time to make sure he is the right person. One thing that made Janie fall in love more was the fact that Tea Cake treated her equally. Their marriage was like a pear tree. Tea cake gets bitten by a dog during the hurricane while he goes to rescue Janie from a big dog. He later becomes ill and is taken to a hospital .
Janie tells the doctor to anything possible to heal his husband…………….. doctor , I love him fit to kill. Tell me anything to do and I will do it(pg177). this quote explains the unwavering love Janie had for Tea cake and she even goes out of the hospital and looks up to the clouds for a possible good sign.
Zora compares Janie’s marriage to Tea Cake with a pear tree when she writes, “…….. then Tea cake came flouncing wherever she was, and the song of sigh lit the top of the pine trees……the kiss of his memory developed pictures of love…”(pg 193). This quote shows just how much Janie was in love with Tea Cake and how he made her feel special.
Finally, Janie had found the love she had so long waited for and was happy.