Thursday, February 26, 2009

Setting and Location: The Everglades

(Edit: I just noticed that Adam posted about this topic before me, but I think we used different details etc.)

Tea Cake brings Janie to the Everglades, which he refers to as “de muck” (128). Simply from this description, the Everglades seem like a rather unattractive place to live. There is no established town in this area of Florida, and Janie notes that the weeds are ten feet tall. However, Tea Cake goes on to say that the people who live there “don’t do nothin’ down dere but make money and fun and foolishness” (128).  This description is significant because more than any place else, Janie is really happy in the Everglades. Thus, the Everglades set a happy and relaxing mood. 

Janie describes everything she sees in the Everglades as new, and she enjoys this different life. Compared to the other places that she has lived, the Everglades could almost be considered a regression in her life. This is especially true when the Everglades are compared to Eatonville, where Janie lived in a gigantic house and was the wife of the mayor. However, although the Everglades might have poorer housing, a tougher terrain, and less “civilized” company, Janie finds happiness because of her experiences there. First of all, Janie is with the man she loves, Tea Cake. In addition, Janie experiences a freedom that she has not had in her previous marriages. For example, Tea Cake teaches her how to hunt. Back then, hunting was probably considered more of a male sport, but the men who live with Janie and Tea Cake in the Everglades do not find it bizarre that Janie can use a rifle. In fact, the men are impressed by Janie’s hunting ability instead of repulsed by it. Janie herself notices this acceptance because “men held big arguments here like they used to do on the store porch. Only here, she could listen and laugh and even talk some herself if she wanted to” (134). In essence, Janie has become an active participant whereas beforehand, she was simply a watcher.  

In conclusion, Everglades serves as the place where Janie is finally content with her life. Janie thrives in an environment where she is with Tea Cake and where she can act how she wants.

Janie lives near Lake Okechobee, so this is a picture of the lake at sunrise. Actually, the title of the picture said sunrise, but the description said sunset. Since a sunrise fits better with the idea that Janie is happy at the Everglades (and since I can’t tell the difference) we can pretend that it is a sunrise.  

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