Sky Symbolism

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The horizon is the point where the Earth and the sky seem to meet, thus, if one reaches the horizon, one seems to touch the sky. In Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie Crawford kickstarts the plot of the story by telling her friend Phoebe of her life, which includes what has happened to her during her absence from Eatonville. Her childhood in the Washburn house, her marriages to Logan, Jody, and Tea Cake, and her consequent change of heart on the way she carries herself. Throughout the novel, the horizon is constantly evoked, showcasing its symbolic importance to the main character. Serving as a symbol to both Janie’s happiness and her search of it, the horizon highlights her state of mind in said phase of her life. In the story, the horizon represents …show more content…
“Janie’s train left too early in the day for the town to witness much, (...)” (Hurston, pg. 116). The idea of it “being too early in the day” means the sun had barely or was rising in the horizon, showcasing a change in the way the horizon is viewed. It went from the darkness of the night during her marriage to Jody to the clearness and light of day during her marriage to Tea Cake. Besides that, the absence of a mention of the time of day or even the sky during the period where Tea Cake got sick relates to how Janie lost perspective of her horizon during the period where her husband is invalidated. The following quote reinforces how Tea Cake is instrumental to her arrival at the horizon: “Tea Cake, with the sun for a shawl. (...) She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net” (Hurston, pg. 193). Evidently, Tea Cake was responsible for changing the way Janie viewed her horizon: it goes from a “little bit of a thing” to a “great fish-net” signifying how, by the end of the book, her satisfaction with her own self and her past marriage to Tea Cake had brought Janie the horizon:

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