Dreams And Violence In Janie's Their Eyes Were Watching God

1982 Words 8 Pages
The very beginning of Their Eyes Were Watching God is a powerful statement which signifies the control that women have over their dreams and fantasies. More importantly, it empowers women by stating that they have the capability to act accordingly and make those dreams come true, whereas men have their fantasies “mocked to death by Time” (1). The importance of this quote relies on its foreshadowing of Janie’s constant, passionate struggle to have her most desired fantasy fulfilled – a fantasy of having a romantic partner which allows for a mutual relationship. Janie’s dream relationship is modeled after the harmonious state of nature underneath the pair tree she often visits. Nature also represents God for Janie as she seeks to become one with …show more content…
Emma sought spiritual help from the Christian church several times and was not granted the treatment that she sought. In fact, when she went to the priest Bournisien, and confessed that she was ill, she was mocked by his laughter: “Charles is doctor of the body, and I of the soul.” The priest fails to help Emma feel any better or ease her spiritual illness. This makes obvious to Emma that the priest doesn’t understand her point of view, and contributes to her feeling of hopelessness. The superficial church fails in answering her calls for help from the pain she is feeling – a pain emanating from dissatisfaction with the grim and superficial realities of life. The feeling of un-fulfillment due to a morally corrupt church taints Emma’s view of religion and allows her to descend into this madness, where fantasy leads her to worship a broken image of love involving self-destruction: “gluing her lips to the body of the Man-God, she pressed [the cross] upon it with all her expiring strength the fullest kiss of love that she had ever given”. The quote suggests that was the act of self-sacrifice of Jesus, instead of Christ himself, was what Emma admired. She desires, much like Janie, to be at peace with religion and enlightened in a relationship, but is denied …show more content…
Thus, by not being dependent on superficial relationships Their Eyes Were Watching God does not permit for Janie’s fantasies to be corrupted from external influences out of her control. After suffering through two abusive husbands, which didn’t love or even treat Janie decently, her fantasies of finding that ideal relationship where there is a mutual reciprocity in love aren’t shattered. Janie still has faith that someday she will be at harmony with what she perceives to be God. That is why she still has the strength to put her trust in a man who attempted to rob her of her money. In fact, after he returns back with the money, Janie realizes that this is indeed a sign of reciprocal love, what she seeks in her dream relationship. She begins to realize that her husband, Tea Cake loves her. This really affects Janie’s emotions: “He drifted off into sleep and Janie looked down on him and felt a self-crushing love. So her soul crawled out from its hiding place.” Because Janie’s religious fantasies have a basis on a tangible element, something of the natural world, they are not only harder to corrupt by others, but are achievable. Janie uses her religious imagery to idolize Tea Cake: “Crushing aromatic herbs with every step he took. Spices hung about him. He was a glance from God.” This idolization makes her appreciate and love Tea Cake, without Janie having unrealistic

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