Their Eyes Were Watching GodNotes
Chapter 1:Beginning of the Novel: The novel starts with an epigrammatic statement, which highlights a theme which is the search for dreams, this is done in poetic language that creates a dreamy mood that suits the purpose of the writer For example the metaphor of the ship that carries the mens wishes aboard (Extended Metaphor). More images are incorporated in the first paragraph such as the person of time, which somehow reminds us of the mythological representation of abstracts in Greek mythology, thus time is given a supernatural quality and at the same time establishes the writers own version of mythological quality. The beginning also establishes gender differences while concentrating on women and thus establishes the main character that is the female heroin. This is unusual in the African literature where focus was on male heroes. The beginning creates mystery towards Janies character, and this results from the reaction of the Porch-sitters when they saw her, and their intrigue regarding what she has being doing Third Person Omniscient, in order to see the events through various characters perspectives. In addition to having collective dialogue, as if they (Porch-sitters) were one unit that expose threat towards Janies character, The porch couldnt talk for looking Porch represents the Porch-sitters (Synec Doche) Mouth all-mighty they pass judgment on other people believing they have the capability of doing that based on appearances. A glimpse of the main character is given early in the beginning of the novel. She has experienced a journey, Come back from burying the dead. Shes also represented as an object of societys envy, as well as their gossip, which is indicated through, seeing the woman that she was Through the collective dialogue, the main character Janie is presented through the eyes of the society (Porch-sitters). We are told that she ran away with a younger man, and we are told that he does not belong to her class. We are also told that she is desirable through the description of her figure by men watchers, the men noticed her buttocks On the other hand, women feel jealous of Janie, therefore they store memories of what they consider are her weakest moments, Shes overalls instead of the blue satin dress in order to be used as a weapon against her strength, and in order to bring her down to their level. Language of the beginning is poetic and selective Establishes the dreamy mood and the mythological The book represents the African American society, two generations after the emancipation of slaves The authority of the white man (boss man) is still placed on the people, and his authority was also associated to powerful natural elements such as the sun, giving the overpowering quality to the white men, which dehumanizes and emasculates the black men The moments were the boss man and the sun left, they felt powerful and human, they became lords of metaphors indicates that they seek superiority through passing judgments on more vulnerable people, to compensate their feeling of inferiority. The woman didnt pay attention to the Porch-sitters! The sentences used her memory against her, shows that there is a criticism towards society. Through the images we realize that the society poses a threat towards Janie (Theyre described as monsters) The images that represent the society are threatening, since it represents the thoughts of the porch-sitters as monsters, They chewed up the physical image as if they are enjoying gossiping about Janie, as if they are enjoying the eating of flesh They made burning statements with questions A mood comes alive / mass cruelty threatening images and mood are caused by the statements and judgments of the porch-sitters The book begins at the end of things, Janie burying the dead The framework of the novel (structure) and the main conflict were conveyed Flashback beginning We are introduced in the beginning to Janies confidante Phoebe she externalizes the main characters thoughts and feelings Janie trusts Phoebe, since Phoebe criticizes the porch-sitters with Janie (Page 7 and 8) Yeah Sam say most of em here in overhalls Mouth all-Mighty (Page 7) Synec Doche Janie and Tea Cake were of different classes (Different level of wealth) in addition to the fact that he was much younger than Janie (The society speculated that he was going to run away with a younger women than her) Phoebe is a worthy confidante since she defended Janie after the gossips of the porch-sitters Few years of their age Janie was involved with a younger man, which gave her a younger look, Janie also looks younger than her age She criticizes the contradicting religious behavior of the society Praying to God at night The end of Chapter 1 establishes the narrative technique of story telling, by having Janie telling her story to Phoebe, as the readers are prepared to go into a flashback into the past in Janies memories, however the situation itself having Janie sitting with Phoebe, telling her a story, reminds us of the oral tradition of narration (story telling) story telling was one of the most common ways of transmitting ethics Since the African Americans were illiterate, they didnt write the events, therefore they relied more on story telling!! The writer is trying to establish literary heritage for African Americans African Americans were stripped of their base culture and origin as they were taken by America, hence they were trying to create their own culture and identity, such as the case of the writer She placed the characters of the story in situations of people from her past culture The writer is trying to create a new culture for the African Americans, as she was criticized by critics regarding her unorthodox use of the characters in that time. Since usually at that time, the works had to be protesting the situation of slavery with bitterness, and she was criticized that she made the African Americans life easy with no major issues. The writer represented the society as pseudo-primitive that is humorous for white people, as if it was a laughing stock for white people Black people were not depicted as victims in this novel. Janie was the hero that was the investment of folk tradition of black people, as the character was on a quest for her own identity, which will end up positively, as she was successful in seeking her ambitions This takes her back to her origins The book affirms the black culture to empower BLACK WOMEN!!!!! Each starting line of each chapter of the novel sets the mood of the chapter and adds a glimpse towards the upcoming events. The author establishes the narrative in the starting lines of each chapter.
Chapter 2: The starting line of the chapter starts off with the narrative technique (Metaphor) of comparing Janie to a pear tree, to which Janie describes her development in life and the phases of her life. In addition to the sexual development through the life cycle of the tree. Confused identity they used to call her alphabet preparation for the theme of searching for identity Janie is a molato! It was assumed that her father raped her mother Relation between puberty of Janie to the pear tree (page 14) After the grandmother has seen Janie kissing the boy (page 17) she asks her to get married, since she doesnt want to her to pass through the phase that her mother faced when she allegedly got raped by a white man / The family doesnt afford to get pregnant and have a new child in the family I dont want any trashy n***** (page 17) Grandmother: We feel sympathy for the Grandmother since:1) Background: Shes an ex-slave:We always have to link our knowledge to our interpretation and analysis of certain events of the novel
Shes more protective (Moved out of the Washburns to establish an identity for Janie) She also inhibited Janie from making her own decisions and experience life She had financial trouble She desired financial security for Janie She has low self-worth Shes dependent on others for life Shes scared of life Shes dehumanized / humiliated / emasculated (men) The women is the mule of the world (Page 19) The mule represents labor and a animal that is led by others, its an appropriate analogy as black women are in a lower social class than black men, hence the humiliation of the black men leads their anger to be released on the black women, and for them to become subservient White man throws the load. 2) Relationship between Janie & her grandmother The only way she can make sure that Janie is not humiliated is by making sure Janie is not taken advantage of by other menWe always have to make predictions regarding upcoming events, to witness the similarities between our prediction and what actually happened in the events of the novel
Janies independence is threatened as she cant live her teenage years due to her grandmothers overprotectiveness Please dont make my burden too heavy for me the grandmother is scared for Janie and doesnt want her to experience the situations that the grandmother faced Marriage is presented as a sense of security and stability for the black women The grandmother wants Janie to get married to a black man of a high social class I wanted you to pick from a higher bush and a sweeter berry. First Stage in Janies Journey:1) Marrying Logan Killicks
16 Years Old50 60 Years Old
BeautifulNot Good Looking
Not Financially SecuredFinancially Secured (60 Acres)
Dreamy AmbitionsDown to Earth
As if Janie is now a slave to a black man, and cannot achieve her dreamy ambitions Shes a mule for Logan Janie doesnt feel love for Logan, and when she complains to her grandmother, her grandmother pacifies her to prevent her from preventing the marriage The vision of Logan Killicks was desecrating the pear tree (Page 18) The author wants the black society to get out of the slave mentality You dont want to be the representation of bad experience that occurred in the past You have to break free from the past experiences and have your individuality and identity Janie doesnt want to be married to Logan, yet her grandmother wants her to be grateful, If you dont want himgive em away (Page 31) A black women at that time wasnt capable of marrying a women whos financially stable Grandmother doesnt want her to pass through the same experience that Janies mother passed through, She was only seventeen a cracked plate (Page 26-27) The guilt trip continues from the grandmother using faulty reason to compel her Janie got married to Logan knowing that she doesnt love him, and that marriage didnt represent love
Chapter 3: There is a basin in the mind where words float around by thought, (Page 33): The writer describes the brain as a part that contains reason, and a part that forces us to take actions based on emotions Janie is driven by emotions, since her emotions are more developed than her grandmothers emotions Janie is independent The writer uses a lot of imagery, which causes the novel to become dreamy and places the reader in a metaphysical state, which causes us to think in a more sophisticated manner that is deeper The use of dialect causes the readers to understand the environment of the events, and become closer to the characters of the novel She knew thing that nobody had ever told her (Page 33) Janie is presented as a natural human being whos in touch with nature, she wanted her tree to bloom She was waiting for the gate for a way out of the situation shes living in She knew the world was a stallion (Page 33) Metaphorical representation of freedom The stallion (male horse) represents Janie waiting for her knight to save her from the situation shes currently in Aether is the pure upper air that Greek Gods breathed God tore down the old world by sun-up (Page 33) She has hope that the situation will get fixed The author creates her own mythological depiction of events contradicting to the typical religions it was a basic need for the author to create his own mythological world to depict the ongoing events Its not necessary to give up dreams to become an adult She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janies first dream was dead, so she became a woman. (Page 34) Its a combination of positive and negative statement, when dreams are dead you become more realistic and mature, however it also means that she became down to earth and she stops dreaming for the character that she set up for herself in the future.
Chapter 4: Logan stopped being romantic with Janie, and started to use her for manual labor Janie is outspoken since shes young, yet she stands up for herself and defends herself regarding her husbands orders Just as stiff first chip (Page 35) Logan is planning on buying a mule for Janie to start working with him in farming, manual labor Jodie held an attitude of a white man Like Mr. Washburn The entrance of Jodie to Janies life was the reemergence of her love life Janie starts flirting with Jodie Water pumping Joe Sparks is Ambitious Controlling Classy Hardworking The writer employs different narrative perspectives to tell the story of Janie, the dominant perspective is the third person omniscient, which tells the story from an external point of view. We can feel the writer behind the story, with her comments on Janies progress, or for example when she comments on the ships that carry mans wish on board. Another type of narrative perspective is free indirect speech, through which the writer brings us into the head of the characters, as a result we are to experience thoughts and feelings without the intervention of the narrator, in this case, we can pick up the tone and the kind of language the character would use, such as in the case of Joe starks in chapter 4 introducing himself to Janie, or for example the questions the porch-sitters were asking themselves about Janie in chapter 1, in these two cases we get to know the tone and language used beyond the dialogue Issues started to emerge between Logan and Janie!!!! You behind a plow special for you (Page 39) Love developed between Janie and Joe Emotional connection Unlike Logan, Joe will not force Janie to work in labor Baby doll Janie will only be an item that Joe uses for decoration and attraction Just like white southern women Janie didnt respond with love to Joe she admired him as he aided her in the journey to her dream she didnt open up to him he didnt represent sun-up and pollen and blooming trees (Page 39) Janie confronts Joe (Page 40) Janie made her change for her, not for Joe, Janie hurried out (Page 43) The apron represents imprisonment, as Janie was free after she removed (Page 43) Foreshadowing that Joe will have a high position in society, It sat like some high, ruling chair (Page 44) Blooming of the pear tree Didnt bloom for Logan nor Joe
Chapter 5: As soon as Joe...