Sorry for posting early, but I won’t be around for the rest of vacation so yeah.
Ok so it seems like Janie’s hair is probably symbolic of numerous things within TEEWG but I am going to stay with the idea that they symbolize Janie’s power within society.
When Janie was with Joe Starks, he forced her to tied up her hair and put it under a kerchief. This was because he saw how much all the men in the area admired Janie’s hair and didn’t want her to go off with any of them. He wanted full control over Janie and in doing so took away all her power. Forcing her to put up her beautiful unique hair is symbolic of all of Joe’s condescending actions towards Janie such as sending her back into the store and not letting her take part in conversations and checkers. Once Joe passed away, Janie was able to let down her hair:
“She tore off the kerchief from her head and let down her plentiful hair. The weight, the length, the glory was there. She took careful stock of herself, then combed her hair and tied it back up again.”
Janie’s hair is what makes her unique and special in society. It is what most of the men characters notice right away about her appearance and are very attracted to it. Joe tries to take away her power and freedom by having her tie up her hair. In contrast, Teacake loves everything about Janie’s hair and gives her more freedom and adventure then she had ever had before (night fishing and sneaking out behind the rest of the town’s back) Therefore, I think that Janie’s hair represents her power and freedom within society.
*If you don't have younger siblings/babysit then my picture will not make any sense...I apologize
**Could Janie’s hair be a motif? I guess it’s hard to tell so early in the novel but if anyone wants to build on that idea I think it would be cool.
***Sorry for asking so many questions in my posts