Janie’s Voice – Their Eyes Were Watching God

A voice is defined as many different things. Evidently, a voice is something a person uses to speak, however as we go further into the meaning of a voice, we figure out how deep it really gets. A voice is a person’s outlet to the world.

A person’s existence means very little without a voice, as for that person has minimal ways to express themselves. In Zora Neale Hurston’s book, Their Eyes Were Watching God, the main character Janie’s voice is diminished and is close to non-existence for much of the novel. Back in Janie’s time and sometimes still today, women were thought of as second-class citizens. Society had it determined that women were to stay at home and take care of the house and children and do things such as cooking and cleaning while their husbands went out in the world and worked to bring home the money to provide for the family.

Janie’s voice was absolutely strained by the way society looked upon women. It would be one thing if Janie’s husbands throughout her life had all been good men; however this was not the case. Janie was not blessed by all the men in her life, in fact it was extremely difficult for her to find the man of her dreams. Her first husband came from an arranged marriage, and did not last for very long. She was married to a man named Logan Killicks.

When JAnie mentioned leaving him, all he said was, “ Shucks! ‘Tain’t no mo’ fools lak me. A whole lot of mens will grin in yo’ face, but dey ain’t gwine tuh work and feed yuh.” This statement shows that he does not truely appreciate Janie for what she is worth, he considers her unimportant. This strains Janie’s voice tremendously. Unfortunately for Janie, her next husband wasn’t much better for her. Janie’s next husband, Mayor Jody Starks, was a different type of man. Jody helped create the first incorporated African American town, Eatonville.

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He started off being a good husband to Janie, always wanting the best for her, however …