Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Dreams as Motifs in Their Eyes Were Watching God
Hurston wrote a succinct conclusion to chapter three:
"Janie's first dream was dead, so she became a woman."
This quote strongly connects with the seemingly anomalous ramblings that begin the novel:
"Now, women forget all those things they don't want to remember, and remember everything they don't want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly."
After marrying Logan Killicks for the money and security he provided, Janie longs for love, especially because she cannot seem to find any love within her for Killicks. She consults Nanny in desperation, only to hear the worst news: You have to deal with this, and either force love or suck it up- in the bluntest terms. Janie pondered Nanny's words for a year, and after stress and sadness, she resorted to loving nature and abandoning her dream of loving the man she married.
Dreaming is a motif within Hurston's novel. Nanny has dreams for her own freedom from slavery, dreams for her child and granddaughter. Janie dreams for love, happiness, a social life, independence. The dreams, however, always seem to fall just short of what the dreamer hoped for. This symbolizes how the community resists change, as human nature tends to in life as well.