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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Pushed, Chosen, And Choosing - 681 words
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Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston,was a novel about one woman's self-revelation. It beganwhen she was a very young girl, first being pushed, thenchosen, and finally choosing. Born a victim of circumstance,Janie was subject to her position in life. She was raised touphold the standards of the early African Americangeneration. From the beginning, she was taught to be passiveand subject to whatever life gave her.
As she grew older shebegan to realize she must give in to her desires and notsuppress them. Janie, the main character of the story, wasset up for her journey of self-discovery by her grandmother.Nanny set a goal for Janie's life by saying, "Ah wanted youto look upon yo' self. Ah don't want yo' feathers alwayscrumpled by folks throwin' up things in yo' face." Janie'sgrandmother pushed Janie into a marriage, which sheconsidered a 'safe' place for Janie. Though hesitant, Janieagreed to marry Logan Killicks. He was a farmer whomarried Janie shortly after she completed school. Killickswas the first antagonist that Janie encountered in the story.He was there for one purpose, to destroy Janie's new senseof self-awarenes
Logan demanded things of Janie that shedid not wish to do and tried to push her into his mold of aperfect wife. Janie did not love Logan nor did he love her.She didn't know what she wanted, but she knew that shedidn't want Logan Killicks. Joe Starks appeared in Janie'syard one afternoon. He said the sweet things that Janiewanted to hear. Though Janie hardly knew the man, she waschosen by his words-being young and gullible.
She tookanother step in her journey, leaving Logan the next day andtraveling to Eatonville with Joe Starks. Aspiring to be themayor of Eatonville, Joe Starks was a man concerned withlittle except power. He wanted it, and he was going to useJanie to get it. She wore nice dresses during this marriagebecause Joe wanted her to stand out from the rest of thetown; he used her as an icon of his prosperity and power.He was cruel to Janie and stomped out all of her free will.He built his town of Eatonville, became the mayor crushingall in his path, and made many enemies along the way,including Janie. During the period that she was married toJoe Starks, Janie was not allowed to talk and act as herself,but she began to think for herself-never revealing to Joehow she felt until just before he died.
Playing with the handshe dealt herself, she did what he told her, and refrainedfrom leaving Joe Starks physically until after his death;though, her heart left him long before. Shortly after Joe'sdeath, not mourning any long than grief, Janie became thefigurehead of her personal ship. Over time, she learned that,all along, she had this growing feeling inside her thatsomething was missing-possibly her lack ofself-confidence. She chose a new path, seeking her dreamsand her identity. Previously the mayor's wife, Janieencountered many suitors after Joe's death. She believedthey were in it for her wealth and was very skeptical of themen that confronted her.
Tea Cake offered Janie a newdirection and didn't seem to care about her material wealth.He showed her a good time. Not only did she desire amarriage, but a friendship also-and she found this with TeaCake. They were married, and he took her to live in theEverglades. She began to wear blue and the things TeaCake liked to see her in. She spoke her mind and acted onher instincts, never holding her feelings back. However, shebecame what she set out to be after her marriage with TeaCake.
Janie returned to Eatonville after Tea Cake left her ina coffin, and the book ends where it began, as Janie finishesher dialogue with her friend Pheoby. She walked back intotown, with her head high upon her shoulders. She was trulyher own person-proud and sure of herself and her place.Though confronted with compelling desires for others tomaker her a "proper woman," Janie became independentand free willed by the end of the novel. She overcame thestandards of the early African American generation-to haveno opinions or inner-initiative.
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