Janie did right: Reflections on chapters 7, 8, and 9 in Their Eyes Were Watching God
I’ve been reading, Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, and new things are happening. The story is taking some new turns and the main character Janie is changing somewhat.
There is this part in the story that really caught my attention about Janie and Jody. Janie and Jody start fighting in the store and everyone is watching. On page 99 we can see that Janie has a new attitude. “‘Naw, Ah ain’t no young gal no mo’ but den Ah ain’t no old woman neither. Ah reckon Ah looks mah age too. But Ah’m woman every inch of me, and Ah know it. Dat’s uh whole lot more’n you kin say. You big-bellies round and here and put out a lot of brag, but ‘tain’t nothing’ to it but yo’ big voice..’” I think that here, Zora Neale Hurston wants us to think that Janie is brave. Janie finally stood up for herself against her husband, after being treated badly for a very long time. Janie got tired, and that made her say the things she said. All that anger she hold inside, made her have the courage to speak out.
On the other hand Jody, does not take this easily. On page 98, Jody says, “I god almighty! A woman say round uh store till she get old as Methusalem and still can’t cut a little thing like a plug of tabacco! Don’t stand dere rollin’ yo’ pop eyes at me wid yo’ rump hanging’ nearly to yo’ knees!.” Here Husrton, gives us a sense that Jody is sexist. He thinks that women are below him and that they are worth nothing. He makes it seem like Janie is useless. He wants to be seen as if her is above his wife.
As the story goes on, something unexpected happens, Jody dies, but before he dies Janie has a talk with Jody. This talk is very harsh but I think that Janie had all the right to say what she said to him. Janie just tried to make things clear to Jody before he dies. I feel that it was the least that Janie could do after, everything she’s been through with Jody. She just expresses her feelings because she didn’t want him to die, without knowing who she really was.
We can see this on page 106 where is says, “...You changes everything but nothin’ don’t change you-not even death. But Ah ain’t goin’ out here and Ah ain’t gointuh hush. Naw, you gointuh listen tuh me one time befo’ you die. Have yo’ way all yo’ life, trample and mash down and then die ruther than tuh let yo’self head ‘about it. Listen, Jody, you ain’t de Jody ah run off tuh keep house wid you in uh wonderful way. But you wasn’t satisfied wid me de way Ah was. Naw! Mah own mind had tuh be squeezed and crowded out tuh make room for yours in me.” Janie did right because Jody had to know what wrong he did to Janie, for many years.
Janie reminds me of the main character, Celie, in the book, The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Janie and Celie are similar because they both get mistreated by their husbands but at some point both become brave. Janie has struggle her whole marriage and so did Celie. They both put up with it, but they have courage to stand up to them and become confident.