Their Eyes Were Watching God: The Search for True Love

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How would you feel if the person you truly love dies? In the search for unconditional love, sometimes you find yourself along the way. In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie (the main character) search for true love that she always wanted. She ends up marrying 3 men and experience many types of love. At the end the novel, She discovers her true love and discovers herself too. Throughout the novel, Hurston uses various literary devices such as symbolism, imagery, and foreshadowing to represent Janie and her progression to a woman with a clear sense of self. Throughout the novel, the author uses many symbolism. One of the symbol is “she saw a dust-bearing…..tree...blossom...So this was a marriage!”. Hurston use the symbol the bees and the flower to represent men and female when they marry to show that Janie is in search for the husband. It also shows that Janie was thinking of sex. It is a sexual attraction and love. The bees represent Janie and Janie is looking for the perfect husband/ true love. Janie didn’t find what she was looking for in Logan Killicks. “The vision of Logan Killicks….pear tree,...floor.”

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The pear tree represents Janie. This reveals that Janie is not a girl anymore, she is a woman now and Logan isn’t the one she was desperately looking for. The tree blossoming represent her growth from a girl to woman who wants attention from other and find love. All these shows that Janie is changing. Hurston uses imagery to show how Janie is waiting for true love while imagining/ watching things around her. “She was stretch….then janie felt a pain...languid”.

The imagery of the bees and the tree make Janie realize that is what she is searching for in her husband. She imagining her married life and comparing that to the bees and the trees. Janie always imagine her life with true love. “Janie had spent most of the day …… nothing to do with her ears”.

Janie always watch things around her and also make connection with them. This usage of of imagery helps to understand that Janie was waiting for her husband. This also helps the reader to relate that at some point they must have waited for someone. All these helps the reader to create strong image in their mind. There are many foreshadow use in the story. One of it is used when Nanny and Janie had a conversation. “Ah ast de lawd when you… got grown”(Hurston p#14-15) This is an example of foreshadowing and it foreshadows Nanny’s death. Janie’s marriage can be seen as Janie being grown because Nanny said that she will stay with Janie until Janie is grown so, Nanny died shortly after Janie gets married. Even though Janie had loved Tea-Cake so much, she had to kill him. “Everyday… Tea-Cake made her shoot at….pistol and shotgun and rifle...themselves.”

Tea-Cake teaching Janie how to shot foreshadows Tea-Cake’s death. In the beginning of the novel, Tea-Cake teach Janie how to shot and at the end of the novel Janie shots Tea-Cake. Janie now can defend herself. She use the shooting skills at the end of the novel to kill Tea-Cake. By this time, Janie had found her true love in Tea-Cake and had become stronger than how she was at the beginning of the novel. Even though Janie found the love she was looking for in Tea-Cake, he couldn’t be with Janie forever. It’s not easy to find the love you want. The use of symbolism, imagery and foreshadow shows how Janie’s life and her relationship change throughout the novel. Janie changed a lot by the end of the novel. She was just a girl who was in search of unconditional love but at the end of the novel she experiences all kind of love.

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Their Eyes Were Watching God: The Search for True Love. (2020, December 01). WritingBros. Retrieved February 25, 2024, from
“Their Eyes Were Watching God: The Search for True Love.” WritingBros, 01 Dec. 2020,
Their Eyes Were Watching God: The Search for True Love. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Feb. 2024].
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