Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston Essay

1997 Words Jan 5th, 2016 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 and husbands’ need for power and control in their relationships force her to hide her true identity to the outside world, but learn more about herself as a woman. 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”,…

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