To the Horizon and Back: Janie’s Journey in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God

Haneen Sabah Abid Al Ibrahim


Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, published in 1937, is about a woman’s search for love and identity in a black community. The novel portrays an African American woman’s struggle to find her own voice through love in a society that tried to silence women. The main character, Janie Crawford, lives in a black community that looked at women as equivalent to “mules” as described by the author herself. The novel is set in several different places which have an important impact on Janie’s life and her journey from her grandmother’s place to the horizon at the end of the novel. This paper explores the journey that Janie goes through in the course of the novel, the people she meets in those places and their effect on her emerging personality, and how she transforms herself from a silent figure to a self-independent woman with a strong voice. Of course, Janie’s journey reflects the journeys of many other women who go through the same struggles and face similar communities.

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