Feminist Theory - "Their Eyes Were Watching God"


VoiceThreads-As Applied by Marriages

Part I- Janie's relationship with Logan and later Jody

This particular voice thread discusses the first five chapters of the novel with analysis based on the feminist theory. In this section, the novel begins with a quote regarding the difference between the dreams of men and women. Later, Janie contemplates love under a pear tree. Nanny fears for Janie's well being and has her married to Logan Killiks immediately. Janie realizes she doesn't love Logan, but she stays in the marriage because she has come to believe that wealth is love. When she meets Jody,however, she decides to give up a life of hard labor for a life with a man whom she believes to be a gentleman. This section contains a discussion about the marriages, the unusual way Janie leaves Logan during that time period, and many feminist symbols that are intertwined into the plot.

Part II- Janie's Marriage to Jody

This section focuses on Janie's second marriage, in which she needs to deal with Jody's oppression of her voice, and instead find her own power to compete with his as a man and as mayor. In addition, Janie's marriage to Jody shows development of the horizon theme, which represents Janie's ultimate goals in life. Janie first leaves with Jody because she believes that he will help her to find her happiness, but giving her economic stability, but soon realizes that this is only her grandmother's idea of happiness, and she needs to find a true companion to be happy, which she will not find in Jody.

Part I of Janie's Relationship With Tea Cake

This voicethread pertains to specific information regarding Janie's first experiences while she is married to Tea Cake. Her situation emphasizes certain aspects of the feminist theory, particularly focusing on a change in how women are perceieved during the 1930's, as Janie is portrayed as an individual rather then an object. The voicethread examines how women characters are described, exposes the ideology of both men and women from the time period, and demonstrates the attitudes and traditions which reinforce systematic masculine dominance.

Symbols included in this thread that pertain to Janie's transformation from oppressed female to an empowered and respected independent include: the checkerboard, Janie's heels, and Janie's grandmother. All display a singificance in this part of Janie's life and can be related to certain elements included in the feminist theory.

Part II of Janie's Relationship with Tea Cake

This voicethread embeds specific examples of feminism in the second half of Janie's final marriage. Her situation has changed in that she is treated more fairly in this relationship than she was in her other two. The voicethread mainly focuses on how Janie's social position has been manipulated and how that in turn has lead to the spread of feminism. The examples of the expansion of this theory in this particular part of the novel include Janie's jealousy, the rifle and the incident that follows, and Janie's discussion with her close friend, Phoeby. All of these instances also constitute as symbols that show Janie's transformation as a woman. One other crucial symbol is the marriage to Tea Cake itsef, because it is from then on that Janie finally begins to respect herself and works on living her life centralized on this idea.