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Women’s Inferiority to Men in Their Eyes Were Watching God

  • Date Submitted: 12/15/2012 04:57 AM
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Women’s Inferiority to Men in Their Eyes Were Watching God

In Their Eyes Were Watching God, different themes portray women’s inferiority to men. In other words, various events in the book mostly relate to how men are superior to women. Throughout the novel, men treat women like objects, oppress women, provoke women, and silence women. All four actions conclude that the males are stronger than the females within the book. First, the theme of gender roles consistently occurs throughout the entire story, where women are perceived as the weaker gender. Another recurring theme in the book is discrimination, where women are depicted as the burdened sex. Also, men’s voice conveys Hurton’s theme of dignity. Finally, Hurston carries the theme of freedom versus captivity throughout the novel; where women are characterized as captives while men are their wardens. Each theme expresses how women are inferior to men in a distinct way.
Women’s weakness in their relationship to men expands on the book’s theme of gender roles. Men use women to show their strength (Racine). Basically, men want to own women for power. For example, in Chapter 4, Joe tells Janie, “A pretty doll-baby lak you is made to sit on de front porch and rock and fan yo’self and eat p’taters dat other folks plant just special for you” (Hurston 26). Joe calls Janie a “doll”, which is generally an object. This relates to how men want to own women for superiority because people can control objects. In this context, men think that women are possessions that can make them look good in front of others, which, in society, will help them show their power. Another example that shows how men use women to show their strength is when Joe tells Janie to tie her hair up. “That night he ordered Janie to tie up her hair around the store. That was all. She was there in the store for him to look at, not those others” (Hurston 31). Janie is depicted as a desired object that Joe needs protect from all the other men. Without...


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