The Role Of Black Women In Southern America In "Their Eyes Were Watching God".

759 words - 3 pages

The Role of Black Women in Southern AmericaThe post-Civil War era of the United States led to radical changes in the demographics of its citizens. Reconstruction led to liberal thoughts on the equality of blacks and women. These ideas, although never passed into law, influenced the way minorities had a voice in the government. By the 1920, black men and white women had "equal" rights as citizens, but black women were still treated as though not deserving of equal status, as though they were "de mule uh de world." In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston epitomizes the feminist goals of black women to become an equal to that of their male counterparts through Janie's relationships with Logan, Jody, and Tea Cake.Janie's first marriage is to Logan Killicks. Her grandmother has arranged the marriage to Logan in hopes of Janie having a better life. Nanny was treated as a "mule uh de world" and wants life to be different for Janie. When married to Logan, Janie is told to work and resents it. He stops "talking in rhymes to her." Logan tries to force her to plow behind a mule, but before he can, she leaves. With Logan, she is treated as a mule, not as a woman. Her voice is almost nonexistent until the end of their relationship. She tries to protest his demands for work, but is still compliant to him. Logan is left behind in search of a life with Jody.Jody is a confident man who acts "like Mr. Washburn or somebody like that." He has plans on building a town and, although he "spoke for far horizon" and not "sun-up and pollen," Janie can see that with him she is closer to being equal. He tells her that she has "no mo' business wid uh plow than uh hog has got wid uh holiday." It seems as though with Jody, Janie would not be treated as a mule. He flatters her and promises a rich future, however, he also suppresses her thought. He tells her to "leave de s'posing and everything else to me," when she tries to ask him about their future together. Janie is entirely capable of independent thought, but Jody treats her as if thinking is above her...

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