Analysis Of Male Chauvinism In Their Eyes Were Watching God

1997 Words 8 Pages
Male chauvinism is the idea that women are inherently inferior to men in both physical and mental ability. This ideology has been instilled in the minds of both men and women since the beginning of life on earth. Women are expected to be submissive, refined and soft spoken around others in society. Men are thought to have total control and power in their relationships. Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, exemplifies this traditional ideology in a southern community during the early 1900s. Janie’s grandmother forces her to accept male superiority and throw away her own independence. The male figures in Janie’s life suppress her opinions, treat her as property and abuse her. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie’s grandmother …show more content…
Janie’s grandmother, “Nanny”, believes she is protecting her granddaughter by arranging a marriage, after seeing Janie kiss Jonny Taylor (Domina 312). Her ultimate goal was to provide a better life for her daughter and granddaughter, because she was once a slave who was impregnated by her master. She believes she failed when her daughter was raped by a school teacher and was also inseminated (Fulton 82). This is why Nanny is so adamant about protecting Janie, even if it means compromising her identity. Nanny “equates male marriageability with means and property”, unlike Janie who believes marriage is built on love and endearment (duCille 99). For this very reason Nanny arranges a marriage with Logan Kilicks, who is a “responsible and conventional man” (Domina 312). Logan would be a source of …show more content…
The need for power and control continues to grow stronger after he contracts rabies (McGowan 57). The metamorphosis of Tea Cake after the storm “does not seem to be the result of a totally foreign element invading his psyche as much as an acceleration of forces already evident in his personality before the dog bite” (McGowan 57). His jealousy and paranoia are increased and even in his sickly state he demands power and control over Janie. In self-defense Janie kills her husband who was threatening to shoot her in his “crazed state”. Overcome with fear for her life she pulled the trigger, even though she still loved him (McCredie 125). Janie’s third marriage was filled with love and endearment, but she again fell in a relationship in which she had to make sacrifices that limit her identity as a strong and independent

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