Their Eyes Were Watching God Sexism Essay

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Throughout Zora Neale Hurston’s entire novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, she exhibits the sexism that existed through the United States of America by how the main character, Janie, is treated. With her first two husbands, Logan Killicks and Joe Starks, we are shown how Janie is mistreated and abused in different ways and how the sexism in the United States at the time made it socially acceptable to beat and hit women. When Janie’s grandma, Nanny, forced Janie to marry Logan Killicks, Janie thought that the love would come after she was married, but it never did. Logan never physically abused Janie but he didn’t treat her how she wanted to be treated. For the first couple of months, Logan always did things for Janie and was always calling …show more content…
However, the first sign of his sexism is when he says,”’Thank yuh fuh yo’ compliments, but mah wife don’t know nothin’ ‘bout no speech-makin’. Ah never married her for nothin’ lak dat. She’s uh woman and her place is in de home,’”(Hurston 43). Joe was just elected mayor and the citizens of Eatonville wanted Janie, or Mrs. Mayor Starks, to make a speech. Joe interrupts and says that she doesn’t how to make speeches because she is a woman and that her place is in a home. Janie laughs it off but is secretly mad at Joe for not even let her have a chance to say anything. Later on the page, though, Joe tells Janie that she has to work in the store which contradicts what he said about how women should. Later on the the novel we see that Joe, “slapped Janie until she had a ringing sound in her ears,”(Hurston 72). All that she had done was make one bad meal and he hit her like she did something very bad. This is the first time, but not the last time, that we see Janie get physically abused by Joe. The next time that we see Joe abusing Janie is when she thrusted herself into the conversation about what they would do if Mrs. Robbins, a woman who always begged for food, was their wife. After Janie is done talking Joe tells her that she is getting too mouthy and to get the checkerboard. Another moment while she was married to Joe and she messed up cutting the tobacco someone said,”’Uh woman and uh knife-no kind of uh knife, don’t belong tuhgether.’ There was some good-natured laughter at the expense of women,”(Hurston 78). This moment of sexism in the store isn’t just focused at Janie, but on all women and how they can’t do a lot of the things that men can. Joe did not find this funny. He started ripping into Janie about how long she has been working there and how she still can’t do simple tasks. She talks back for the first time and they get into an argument about looks and how Joe

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