Their Eyes Were Watching God Critical Lens Essay

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Critical Lens Essay Harper Lee, in her novel To Kill a Mockingbird wrote, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view...Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” In other words, to fully understand someone’s point of view, you must put yourself into their situation. This statement holds true in most literary settings, as to make sense of a character’s actions and thought process; you must consider their situation and their past experiences. In the novels The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and Atonement by Ian McEwan, the central characters maintain a certain viewpoint that seems misunderstood or confusing by those around them, …show more content…
Within her first marriage, Janie’s view takes shape through the details of being forced to cook and expected to work as hard as a man while simultaneously receiving no affection in the relationship. These specific details of hard labor and the absence of love reveal her unhappiness, yet they contrast her aging grandmother’s ideas of security through marriage. Later in the story, following the death of her second husband, Janie once again encounters contradiction to her viewpoint as she pursues another relationship – the people of the town gossip about her and condemn her actions. Janie describes her relationship with Tea Cake through details such as his use of manners when addressing her at the store and his continual love during his visits which she views as sincere. The specific details of his formal conduct and devotion in love help to shape Janie’s view of Tea Cake as a perfect husband who will respect her and love her, which help transform the opinion of the reader as they acknowledge Janie’s circumstances and motives through her eyes. Through the specific details of her previous marriage as well as the details of her relationship with Tea Cake, the author shows Janie’s feeling of justification and satisfaction as she finally finds true love, developing sympathy from the reader as they witness her struggles and

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