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Their Eyes Were Watching God


            Hurston uses a lot of imagery to characterize and distinguish between men and women in "Their eyes were watching god". She first starts out by comparing the dreams of men to ships right in the first paragraph of the first chapter. She says "For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time." She then goes on to say that for women, the dream is the truth and that women forget what they don't want to remember and remember what they don't want to forget. Then they act accordingly. Right here you can see that she believes men and women dream differently. Men have their sights set on things they will most likely never accomplish, and hope that their ship will dock and they will be able to live their dream. If it doesn't, they pack their bags and forget about it, they don't keep striving to achieve it (even if it is unrealistic). Women on the other hand have their sights set on dreams that are realistic and they don't just wait for their ship to dock, they "act and do things accordingly". This idea is represented with all three relationships Janine has in the novel. First she marries Logan, with the hope that her dreams of love and prosperity can be fulfilled. Unfortunately this did not work, and neither of these dreams were fulfilled because Joe "don't take nothin' to count but sow-belly and corn bread", so essentially he had no dreams. Then Janine marries Joe Starks. While he is ambitious and fulfills her dreams of prosperity (which was also her grandmother's dream), she feels no real love for him. He then begins to become abusive, and that marriage ends. Then Janine meets Tea Cake. He fulfills her dream of love, and is the only person in the novel who makes that dream come true for her. Both their dreams for love were the same. Unfortunately he dies because he gets rabies, and Janine is forced to shoot him or be killed herself.


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