Mentally Free

In: English and Literature

Submitted By michael123321
Words 553
Pages 3
Mentally Free For many of us it seems that when the topic of slavery is brought up, our minds conjure images of being whipped or visions of bloody feet that are chained together, and we are thankful that such horrors are practically nonexistent in today’s world. We are free from this physical bondage, yet in Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, the “uncivilized free and wild” intellect Hurston portrays through Janie shows us the importance of also being free from the grasp society can place upon us mentally. In the beginning Janie is like any other ordinary teenager, curious about the many questions of life and trying to realize who she is. And despite Nanny’s will, Janie ceaselessly focuses on love and what it truly means to her, even if she must jump through three different relationships. And why is this so revolutionary? Well, given the time period in the early 1900’s, how many black women would have disobeyed the logic of their grandmother and left the security of a hard-working husband like Logan? Probably very few. As Nanny points out to Janie, “De nigger woman is de mule uh de world” (14). Unlike Janie, Nanny grew up before abolition and had to face physical hardships that Janie never had to. So Janie should just be grateful for the security that Logan has to offer. With any other black women, the book would then end with the marriage to Logan, and she would live, supposedly, happily ever after. Instead, Hurston gives Janie a desire for mental freedom, to answer the questions about love and marriage in her head. She does not simply wish to live her life in security and accept the role that society has placed on black women, saying they should leap at every opportunity to improve their own well-being, even if that means discarding the subconscious questions about love that Janie never loses sight of. To the other women watching,…...

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