Nature Vs. Nurture In Their Eyes Were Watching God

Great Essays
The two characters Sam Watson and Lige Moss in Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, argues the aging dispute of nature versus nurture. Sam states that nature helps us avoid dangerous situations explaining that our natural instinct helps us survive. Lige counter argues that caution prevents us from doing any harm. He explains stating that our knowledge or experience gives us the ability to avoid danger. Studies show that people are happier when they follow their heart; nature is based on our instincts and therefore living an organic way of life will increase the quality of life.
When making a decision, it should not be done just because it is the “right” thing to do, because it will not promise happiness in the longer term.
…show more content…
Unlike our character which is in our nature, our behavior changes with nurture. The rules of society will shackle you to your intended roles. Joe and Janie’s marriage deteriorates when he makes her the second priority after the town. He was no longer the man she fell in love with and she found herself in a role where, “She slept with authority and so she was part of it in the town mind” (Hurston 46). As mayor’s wife, Janie realizes she can never be free again as nature wants her to be. She has to mute her emotions and be demure. Joe on the other hand is allowed to be loud in his behavior because he is a man. He makes his power known through his walk, big laugh, two-story home and his opulent way of life. In contrast, Joe forces Janie to cover her symbol of power, her think long ropes of hair. As mayor, he believed he would not be able to control the town, if he could not control Janie. Janie is caught in the struggle between caution and nature. Our behavior changes with conditioning, and Janie was forced to condition herself to the needs of the town and Joe. Religion can also force us to act in a certain way. In the Roman Catholic church, good Catholics are supposed to attend mass every week, receive communion, confess our sins, and the list goes on. As a catholic, I feel obligated to follow all these rules to avoid getting judged. This obligation is popularized by the term “catholic guilt”. More than I fear that God will smite me for not going to church every week, I am more scared of the pressure put on me by my parents and all those around me. I would not be a good catholic if I do not follow all these rules. Part of the way I behave has been influenced by my catholic background, and over time it has one of the things that I do on auto-pilot, rather than having a passion for all my

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Nora breaks the rule of injustice by taking out a loan without the authority of her husband or her father. Nora’s individualism is develop throughout the play. At the beginning of the story her husband does not see her as wife material but as child. Nora however risks herself to save her husband, which makes her an individual. Nora, a hardworking mother and wife, spends most of the play putting others before herself.…

    • 784 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    I wanted nothing more than just to be like everyone else. I didn’t want to stand out. I was still skeptical, but at the time my adolescent insecurities seemed more important than my spiritual awakening. Going to church with your family was what everyone else seemed to do, so I did it too. I still felt uneasy whenever I walked into church and I thought I was some sort of demon for a while.…

    • 1160 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Furthermore this newly found voice leads Janie to break cultural norms. During her marriage to Killicks Janie realized she does not want to be a farmer’s wife, and eventually begins expressing those feelings. When Janie says, “Supposing Ah was to run off and leave yuh sometine”, and actually leaves, it shows the reader that her voice is gaining power and independence. Janie has chosen to listen to herself. She has taken action of her own life and this is the beginning of Janie not being a pawn in her marriage to Killicks.…

    • 1026 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Janie uses Joe as a way to grab a little more control of her life. Janie gives up Logan, the man her grandmother set up for her, in the hopes of discovering a married life where she can blossom. But, as Janie tries to express herself in her new marriage, she realizes that Joe’s dominance still traps her: “Time came when she fought back with her tongue as best she could, but it didn’t do her any good. It just made Joe do more. He wanted her submission and he’d keep on fighting until he felt he had it”(67).…

    • 1274 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Entrapment In Young Woman

    • 1453 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Again, he is forcing her into the societal mold, the routine common of everyone else, ignoring an important signal about who Young Woman is as a human. Their married life is as awful as she had imagined it would be. In many ways, her husband continues to force the accepted model of life onto her, even with signs of her…

    • 1453 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The harsh treatment Janie experiences with Logan destroys her hopes of a loving romantic relationship. Consequently, she lives miserably for years without discovering her true self. Not only is Logan abusive, so is Tea Cake. Hurston proves male superiority when Teacake “just slapped her around a bit to show he was boss” (140). Although Janie is forced to live under this overbearing control, she eventually realizes she can live without men telling her how to live her life.…

    • 1938 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    She suffers at the hands of her husband Inder, but finally she rebels against him and the house on the face of her husband and takes refuge in freedom. The conflict apparently arises from the premarital sex experience of Saroj in the days of her ignorance but essentially it is a battle against the privileges and prejudices of patriarchy. The conflict between Som and Smirit has everything a woman of her status may desire but she has no space to exercise her choice. She is well fed, lives in style but when all said and done, she is a virtual slave with no volition no her own. She wakes up to her situation and exercises her will und gets a divorce from her…

    • 1937 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    On one hand she “loves her,” but on the other hand, she “hates when she leaves her home alone.” Monica describes their relationship as “rocky.” She states “everything is fine when she is home,” but “I get mad when she leaves.” I curse her out, shout, and I will cut myself just to show her I am not playing.” “She admits her grandmother is afraid to leave her home alone and she is threatening to put her out of the house if she does not change. Monica states she also has a strained relationship with her father. She has male associates but states they are “only good for one thing.” They never stick around for the “long haul.” Her extended family “cut her off several years ago” and they have limited…

    • 1820 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Agreeing not to kill people is a survival tactic so we can build a functioning society and improve our quality of life. All things that are “right” are because they help us in some way. An argument against moral relativism is that if nothing is right or wrong could we improve? I think we can improve, but it has nothing to do…

    • 845 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Also the people who lived within the government didn’t get the right information about their history because the government controls what they tell their citizens. The government is dehumanizing its citizens because they want to ensure they have total control over the people without the citizens knowing what is really happening. The government is dehumanizing their citizens by forcing them to call each other comrade instead of their real names. This is proven in the book when Winston tells us, “Mrs.” Was a word somewhat discountenanced by the Party- you were supposed…

    • 766 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics