Janie's journey sort of reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. She starts off this long journey, in controlling environments. First with Nanny deciding her future, and then later with Joe dominating every aspect of her life. Eatonville is like Janie's Kansas. It becomes her home environment, yet she longs for a change. Like Dorothy, she grows tired of the same old life. Janie needs to fly over the rainbow to fulfill her dreams and desires. The desires she dreamed under the pear tree, that blossomed and stretched its limbs towards the sky. The pear tree symbolizes Janie's self-discovery, as the rainbow does for Dorothy.
They both then embark on their fantasies, Dorothy travels to Emerald City and Janie to the muck. They hope to fulfill their desires, and discover more about themselves in society or their "Ordinary World". However, the end of their journey's bring about hardships for them to face. For Dorothy it was facing the witch to get her broom and for Janie it was facing the hurricane and ultimately Tea Cake's illness. Once the conquer their hardships they are allowed to return "home" back to Kansas and Eatonville. Both of the women's stories focus a great deal on self-discovery. They make new friends and conquer their fears, breaking free of their previous ignorance. This allows them to return to reality with better understanding of life and more importantly themselves.
I think this might be an interesting blog for people to add to in their comments, so opinions and new idea are welcome!