Friday, February 20, 2009

External and Internal Conflict: Janie

Throughout these chapters it is evident that Janie is struggeling. Janie wants to make Joe happy, but Joe is becomming less the man he was when she first met him and more like the typical dominant husband. Janie is not satisfied living the obedient lifestyle that Joe expects her lead. Janie wants to voice her opinions, but she is restricted by the rules of society. When she tried to voice her opinion, Joe responded by saying, "You gettin' too moufy, Janie,"... "Go fetch me de checker-board and de checkers." This harsh response resembles something a parent would say to a disobedient child. If she were free from the confines of society, Janie would not have taken Joe's condesendence without a rebuttal. However, it was not be proper for her to talk back to Joe, so she stayed silent. However, Janie is not happy accepting Joe's harsh words towards her. This conflict, whether Janie should conform to society and allow Joe to belittle her or if she should fight back, rages throughout these chapters. In the end, Janie's free spirit wins out and she fights back when Joe puts her down. However, this actions leads to the destruction of their marriage. Athough Joe and Janie stay together, they do not sleep in the same room or talk except when necessary. This can be seen as sad, because a man cannot take a free spirited woman. However, in a way it was the beginning of a revelation to Janie, that she should not have to bow down to a man as her controller. In this way, the outcome of Janie's conflict can be seen as sad and hopeful.

1 comment:

  1. Kirsten, I definitely agree with you about all of the internal and external conflicts. I think that all of Janie's conflicts thus far can be generalized as Janie v. society. In the first conflict that we see, which is Janie against Nanny, Janie is trying to fight against society's norms - which is for Janie to be married and 'protected' from the world. Janie tries to fight this, yet ultimately society wins this fight since Janie ends up marrying Logan anyways. In the next conflict, which is Janie v. Jody, Jody tries to impose his rules (and ultimately society's rules) on Janie by keeping her confined and unable to express herself freely. Although it seems like Joe is winning this conflict, at the end it is Janie who triumphs against Joe's and society's rules. I guess we would have to wait and see if there is a conflict between Janie and Tea Cake (something tells me there will be), and whether Janie will triumph against him too.