eng 281, paper 2 - Chanel Edwards 2/23/11 Response Paper 2:...

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Chanel Edwards 2/23/11 Response Paper 2: English 281 In Their Eyes Were Watching God , by Zora Neale Hurston, the main character Janie, is driven to achieve a strong sense of self as well as comes to appreciate her independence. It would seem that throughout her life, Janie is a little naïve. That is until her grandmother’s death. Janie exhibits this by searching for love and progression in all the wrong places. Her journey to self- empowerment is not taken alone; an example from the text is the amount of poor marriages that she experienced. Many themes and symbols throughout the book correlate with one another. The most noteworthy theme is the idea of power and conquest as a means to fulfillment. We see this theme in context to Janie’s hair. Janie’s hair is a symbol of her power and unconventional identity; which also represents her strength and individuality. She shows these characteristics by emanating her independence and defiance of petty community standards and judgments. Her hair contributes to the normally white male power those she possesses and it helps her disrupt traditional power relationships between male over female and white over black in the novel. In the beginning of the novel the town feels that it is undignified for a woman of Janie’s age to wear her hair down. She is strong and has a rebellious nature. She does not want to bow down to societal standards. In a sense, her hair functions as a symbol of masculine power
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eng 281, paper 2 - Chanel Edwards 2/23/11 Response Paper 2:...

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