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Their Eyes Were Watching God: Janie's Three Marriages

Compares and contrasts Janie's three different marriages throughout the novel.
by Katherine Powers on 9 August 2010

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Transcript of Their Eyes Were Watching God: Janie's Three Marriages

Janie's Marriages Logan Killicks Reason for marriage: Janie's grandmother arranges it for financial peace, and security of position.
Janie's age: About 16.
His personality: Unromantic, harsh, and hard-working.
Attitude towards Janie: He considers her spoiled and continually tries to force her into manual labor.
Reason for split: Janie needs love in marriage, and she knows she does not and never will love Logan. Jody Starks Reason for marriage: Janie wants to escape Logan's cruelty and unromantic views of marriage.
Janie's age: About 17.
His personality: Power-hungry, conceited, and ambitious. He needs to exert power over others to feel like a man.
Attitude towards Janie: He is sweet to her at first, to convince her to leave Logan. But as they begin to settle in Eatonville, his true motives come out. He wants her for a figurehead, an image of the perfect "mayor's wife" as opposed to someone he truly loves.
Reason for split: After Jody beats and insults her appearance in front of the townspeople, Janie returns his insults with her own about his deteriorating body. Jody realizes he has lost all control over Janie, falls ill and dies. Tea Cake Reason for marriage: After Jody's death, Janie enjoys a few months of widowhood. When she meets Tea Cake, she falls in love and realizes this is the man she has been waiting for.
Janie's age: About 40.
His personality: Tea Cake is vivacious and joking, and he encourages Janie to take advantage of life and have fun.
Attitude towards Janie: Tea Cake loves Janie, and so he is always a bit jealous; he fears that she will leave him for another man. This jealousy, intensified by Tea Cake's illness near the end of the book, is what ultimately leads to his death, caused by Janie shooting him in self-defense.
Reason for split: Tea Cake is bitten by a rabid dog while saving Janie from it during the aftermath of the hurricane. After a few weeks, his illness escalates into delirium, and he attempts to shoot Janie becuase he thinks she is running off to meet other men. She shoots him before he can kill her, and he dies in her arms.
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