Monday, February 16, 2009

Another Awakening of sorts

This is a reply to Kelsey's post. Kelsey, I agree that Janie is someone who marches to her own drum. I also think that this is very much as a result of the way that Nannie brought her up, which is described in Chapter 2.
Nannie tells Janie that "Ah can't be always guidin' yo' feet from harm and danger. Ah wants to see you married right away." (13). To Nannie, only marriage, or rather a man's protection, can shield Janie from the terrors of the outside world. Janie is exposed to this subservient thought all throughout her childhood. I think that it is because of this that her sense of self-individuality and empowerment is heightened; Janie knows deep down that she does not want to be acquiescent to a man all her life so she tries harder to become an individual.
Janie tries to regain control of her life during her marraige to Logan Killicks. When she spots a handsome stranger outside her home, she proceeds to flirt with him secretly. I see many 'Edna-like' aspects in Janie because like Edna, Janie wants to have full control of her life and soul. Janie proves herself to be a self-empowered woman when she runs away with Joe, much as how Edna leaves Leonce for Robert.
Hurston contrasts Janie's independence with her obedient side later on when Janie marries Joe, but for right now, the reader is just dazzled by how independent Janie really is.

1 comment:

  1. Like Ayesha, I also noticed that Janie has similar qualities to Edna Pontellier. Their husbands both attempt to control them, though I think Joe and later Tea Cake evidently are more successful. Even though she is trying to be an independent woman, Janie still is under Tea Cake's control. Both of them become jealous quite easily, whereas such jealousy is not as evident or important in The Awakening (only when Edna thinks of Robert flirting with Mexican girls). Janie wants not only to be independent, but to have just as much control over Tea Cake as he has over her.