Some people would argue that God is a being who watches over us, however other would argue that God manifests through nature, our surroundings, and us. Transcendentalism revolves around the idea that God is nature. It also supports the theory that God is all around us and inside of us and we should be self-reliant and strive for simplicity. These transcendentalist ideas and traditions were present in Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, as Janie experienced herself and the world around her head on over time. The book revolves around one particular idea that God is nature and we should live close to nature, for it is our greatest teacher, and it is once again God. There is this idea in the book that God can manifest
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Nature is the first of everything. Ever since self was self, nature been keeping folks off of red-hot stoves. That caution you talking about isn’t anything but a humbug. He’s an insect that nothing he has belongs to him. He’s got eyes, like something else; wings like something else—everything! Even his hum is the sound of somebody else,” and “Look what nature took and done. Nature got so high in a black hen she got to lay a white egg. Now you tell me, how come, what got into man that he got to have hair around his mouth? Nature!” All of those statements argue towards the idea that God is nature, but also that God is everywhere and the root of everything, and us. The transcendentalist idea that God is inside of us coincides with the transcendentalist views on intuition and self-reliance. Transcendentalists believe that our natural impulses and our conscience steer us to do what is traditionally respectable, and society corrupts us. In other words, all people are internally “good,” it is just our environment, which we have inadvertently contributed to, that promotes conformism and hinders individualism.
In the novel, there is a conflict relative to this particular transcendentalist idea: Janie versus society. Nanny in the beginning of the novel symbolizes society. Nanny represents society ignorant to feminism. She basically represents the idea that a woman’s only purpose in life is to accompany the man, to support the man, to