Sunday, February 22, 2009

Characterization of Joe Stark

At the beginning, Joe Stark seemed like a genuinely good man. He was kind to Janie and had his big dream to be an influential man. He appeared to want to take care of Janie and treat her well. Later when he got to the town, he seemed to be a little different. He appeared to be arrogant with all of his wealth. Since everyone else in the town was not well off, he was able to easily take over with no one to oppose him. The power seemed to go to his head and he didn’t seem like the same genuinely good man.

It seems like he is flashing his wealth around to all of the people in the town with his possessions and positions. He builds a large house that he won’t move into until it’s been painted and even has the two spit vases for him and Janie. Even though he has all of that wealth, it isn’t necessary for him to display it so much to everyone to show how different he is from them. He also holds all of the important positions in the town, like store owner, mayor, and post master instead of giving other people the opportunity to hold them. Using all of these methods, Joe seems to maintain the power in the town. No one else holds those positions or wealth, so they don’t have the confidence to go against him even if they wanted to.

He also seems to think that he is benefiting Janie more than he actually is. She also gets most of the same reputation as he does through being his wife, but she doesn’t seem to appreciate it as much as he does. Though he means well with everything, it doesn’t seem to be received in the same manor.


  1. Yeah, I agree. In the novel Janie's looks are definitely emphasized. I think that might have been a main reason why Joe married her. He wanted her for his reputation not out of love.
    Also, he seems to be more and more demoralizing towards her as she gets older and less attractive. This again shows me that he married her for her looks.

  2. I agree with both Rachel and Brittany. Something that we talked about in class the other day that I wanted to expand upon was the idea that Janie stayed with Jody for so long because he was the father figure that Janie had been missing in her life. Everyone looked up to Jody and he was extremely confident. He also had morals and was intelligent. All of these aspects of Jody's personality make him an easy candidate for being a father figure.

    **On another note, did anyone else feel bad for Jody after his death? I have to say I pitied him a little even though I strongly disliked him while he was alive.