In the bildungsroman novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, the story is founded upon a conversation with the main character Janie, and her friend Pheoby. Janie tells her stories to Pheoby to open an unbiased perspective instead of the unreliable townsfolk. Janie has gone through many events,whether internal or around her, all were mainly based around her three marriages. The novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, depicts the life of Janie, a woman who responds to the changes in her life with the discovery of her inner strength and buried hope, long tamped down by her marriage to Joe Stark and subsequently released by his death.
Janie’s second marriage was with a man named Jody Starks who she met by secretly flirting with, during the events of the first corrupt marriage with Logan Killicks until Janie and Jody elope and move back to town. Janie believed that Jody was the exact opposite of Logan. Logan strictly believed that women should be the workhorses of a relationship, while Jody treats his women very nicely but that’s where he becomes wrong. Logan treated women like objects to be tools for his own power, but Jody treated women like objects to their own power of display. On top of the negative trait, Jody had a large issue with Janie speaking to anyone. Jody also had plans to increase his power in Eatonville like becoming the biggest landlord, postmaster, mayor, and businessman in Eatonville. These were all things that Janie seemed to care for especially after surviving in such a horrible marriage with Logan. It seems Jody only married Janie too trophy her and use her to get him to the top of business chain, and become mayor of the town. However, Janie is unfulfilled with being suppressed and not given any love as Jody truly doesn’t love her and never has. So Janie bursts out, in a store and insults Jody. Much later when Jody is in his deathbed she tells him how she truly felt about the relationship but with Jody not wanting to confront the truth he wants Janie to die, while he is rebuking her he finally dies. The death did not affect Janie much, but the 20-year marriage and its end brought up more internal changes.
Janie learns a lot more about love during this marriage based on her horrendous experience which was her second marriage with Jody Starks. She learns that she should know about her happiness. She was in a dark spot when she was married to Logan and began to with Jody but she probably did not catch on too who he actually was. While this was her longest marriage it was also her most mentally wounding. Jody never loved her and they were together for 20 years, she was suppressed and not allowed to talk too anyone so she was socially cut off even from her husband. Then she was not given any love and started too feel low till she finally spoke up and found her voice in the midst of troubles. Even though she was wounded by her husband she began to grow and to understand that lovers should be treated equally and how each other both feels emotionally. This is one of the most important things she comes to realize as she has been treated horribly by her first two husbands because she is not being treated as equal. She is being treated as objects and she is not clearly, she is a human. This can also lead Janie to understand some of the things her grandmother went through as she was a slave and was treated horribly and as an object. All of these things combine help lead her to her true love Tea Cake. While Tea Cake did have a gambling problem he was honest, caring, and wanted Janie to be herself not something that Tea Cake wanted her to be. The only reason the marriage failed was due to Tea Cake getting a sickness from a rabid dog making him go insane. During his madness, he started to believe that Janie was cheating on him and started to shoot at her.
In conclusion, Janie was able to learn how to be happy and too learn that lovers should be equals nothing less and through knowing that she was able to find true love. She also was able to understand that she can find love towards the end of the novel which is the exact opposite of her first marriage so we can see how far she has come internally from all these external events.