June 23, 2008
The Changing Character in Janie Crawford
"Their Eyes Are Watching God"
Janie Crawford is a major character in "Their Eyes Are Watching God". Here we learned how Janie's life began living in a house in West Florida with an Anglo family. Her mother abandoned her, and was in the care of her grandmother until her teen years. At an early age she was affected by the fact that she needed to married Logan Killicks a farmer that had the money to give her a secured life. After a few months of marriage, Nanny, Janie's grandmother died. In evidence to the story, Janie was alone with out any family and empty in heart. Her character was very empty with no brightness to it or any light to give her a reason for life. She married Mr. Killicks knowing that she did not love him, she felt empty. There was another character that came along in her life Joe Starks; he offered Janie security as well, but a better life with position and luxury. During the circumstances, she married Joe Starks leaving Mr. Killicks. While Janie was married with Joe we saw how Janie's life made a drastic change; she was a very submissive woman, a woman with out any strength to fight for her freedom of heart and mind. She was married to him for twenty two years, but after her husband death her life turned around completely when she met Tea Cake. He, Tea Cake, was the man that made the biggest effect and changes in Janie's life. Her changes in her character had just begun and it was all shown by her clothing, the style of living and how she opened up her heart at last.
Janie has worn clothes that in the past it made her character seem more submissive, and sad. We have seen that Mr. Starks was a jealous of other man that dared to look at Janie. He showed his authority over her by restricting the style and colors of her clothes. Like the time when she worn her wine-colored red dress, this really made her seem like if she was mourning. In time, the character of Janie became less attracting when she was ordered to tie her hair up in a hair rag. Janie was young and her character needed to be more alive, alive with colors and her hair down to show her youth and innocence. After Joe's death the authority upon her had ended and her freedom begin to burst like a strike of a thunder from that point on. This is where the character of her third husband takes action. "Tea Cake love me in blue, so Ah wears it" (Pg113), the blue dress was the key that made her character to look brighter and with a light shining upon her. The beauty that she had was hard not to notice by anyone. With this evidence, that while being with Tea Cake she had been wearing jean overall's and still she seem more alive, it's as if the death had come back to live, the colors and the dresses that she worn where happier to her character making it look fresh , young and full of joy.
In the mean time, Janie's style of living was also filled with loneliness, living in a house that was empty of feelings. After Joe's death she managed to leave the house that never felt like home, the "Big house, with two stories with porches, with banisters and such things" (Pg.47). She managed to come out with some courage and left Eatonville, leaving her solitude behind. We have learned, that Janie's urge to experience new horizons and meet new people, drove her to her happiness and joyfulness along with Tea Cake. Indeed, we have seen that the moment of her life had just begun and that was living at the muck in the Everglades where everything was big and new to her eyes (Pg129). They both worked in the field picking up beans, and for her it was an experience, this showed that she was never a shallow person and it didn't matter what she did a longest she was with her love one. This made the character seem in a peace of mind and soul. One night she realized that, "Her soul had crawled out from its hiding place" (Pg.128), thanks to Tea Cake whom seem to be the savior of her life. He brought her moments into her life that she never had imagine, moments that will remain memorable for eternity.