In Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Teachers and College professors often teach students that Janie is a victim of all the abuses of the Black men in her life.
Shawn begs to differ from this analysis. That’s often the White Supremacist/Black Feminst perception of the book that is presented to students and literati. And that interpretation of the work isn’t too objective when it comes to Black men. In that arena all the blame is placed on the Black Man and Janie is painted as a victim of Black male abuses.
Shawn notices those same professors in the feminist/Mangina controlled White Supremacist halls of academia conveniently don’t discuss the part of the story where Janie was raised under the leadership of a female headed household. And they don’t like to discuss how being raised by a single grandmother impacted her perceptions of herself and her perceptions of men.
Moreover, they don’t discuss how her grandmother was a rape survivor or how that rape by a White man impacted Janie’s upbringing and the woman she became.
Nor do they discuss how Nanny’s daughter Leafy, was the product of a rape by a White slave master. Moreover they refuse to talk about how Nanny was working towards turning Leafy into her idealized image of a teacher.
Only to have those dreams shattered when Leafy is raped by a White male schoolteacher.
As a result of the trauma of two generations of sexual violence by White men, Nanny then tries to turn her granddaughter Janie into another twisted distorted fantasy image of a the woman she wants her to be.
In an effort to live her dreams through her granddaughter Nanny turned Janie into a spoiled princess. Doing her long hair up in ribbons and bows she put her up on a pedestal and made her think she was better than other children. She did her work for her. All this led to Janie growing up with unrealistic expectations and a sense of entitlement. A lost and confused child who has no idea of who she is or what she wants.
This is how she becomes the arrogant person who thinks she can look up at the sky and watch God.
When it’s God who looks down on her and pities her for her own stupidity.
I find it funny how those same pseudo intellectuals don’t discuss how Nanny’s rape and Leafy’s rape and abandonment had a significant impact on the raising of Janie. How their negative perception of men had led to her being unable to understand how to teach Janie about the opposite sex or how to have a relationship with men.
How the unwillingness or inability of both these women to understand the sexual violence perpetuated on them by White men ultimately led to the self-fulfilling prophecy regarding Janie’s future failed relationships with Black men.
When Nanny sees something as innocent as a boy like Johnny Taylor (also perceived as lazy; I take this as more male bashing and misandry) kissing a sleeping Janie under a tree she flashes back to her own negative sexual experiences and projects it onto Janie fearing she’ll become some “mule” to a man.
This is where we get the wonderfully misinterpreted statement “Black women are the Mule of the world” and how it’s believed Black men take out their frustrations on women in the attempt to mold them into the person they want them to be. The biggest pile of bullshit people love to quote from this misandristic Black-man hating book.
Here’s a question for all those wonderful academic pseudo intellectuals: How are Black men going to turn Janie into a mule when it was WHITE MEN who raped Nanny and Leafy? How are Black men going to turn Janie into a mule when it was a BLACK WOMAN who was trying to shape Janie into her idealized image? How are Black men going to turn Janie into a mule when it’s the programming she receives from a SINGLE BLACK WOMAN in a FEMALE HEADED HOUSEHOLD that’s leading her to become selfish, stubborn and arrogant like a mule?
Does anyone smell the BULLSHIT in between the pages of this acclaimed literary classic?
Those same pseudo-intellectuals also don’t talk about how when Janie asks her about men and marriage….Nanny doesn’t have a thing to say. Because neither she nor Janie’s mother Leafy ever experienced a healthy positive relationship with any man, white or Black.
Ironically, it’s Nanny’s over protectiveness of Janie and keeping her from having natural healthy relationships with boys like Johnny Taylor. It’s that coddling that leads to her making the poor judgment of arranging the marriage to pervert Logan Killicks. Now Janie didn’t want to get married, but she does this so she can have some of the things Nanny never got to have.
Can you say GOLD DIGGER? Because their actions fits the description clearly of one and their pattern of behavior also fits the background of one. Daddy issues from conception by sexual violence and a mental and emotional disconnect from healthy men three generations down. A mental perception that men are just tools to be used to get what women want. Both the mother and the grandmother have learned how to hate men and have taught their granddaughter how to hate them as well.
In a way this could be seen as a form of pimping because Nanny wants her to have all the things she never had, and she was willing to prostitute her own granddaughter to a greasy old bastard just to get them.
If anything Logan Killicks was just a trick, paying for hired help and a little pussy on the side. An old thirsty nigger who saw a pretty piece of ass and had to have it.
Now some will say Logan Killicks was wrong for working poor Janie Hard. But this was the life he knew. He was looking for a help meet suited to his needs. Someone strong. Someone to work with him to build his farm. To make a life for both of them.
But it wasn’t the life she wanted. Janie, who had been pampered by Nanny and spoiled. What she wanted was a life of clean feet, clipped toenails and sitting in front of the fire. Coming out of a female headed household and being spoiled, she had no understanding that marriage was a partnership. Where two people worked together to achieve the family’s goals.
And that life on a farm is heavy backbreaking work from sunup to sundown. This is where the distortion and unrealistic expectations of life from being raised in a female headed household in the big house come into play. Poor Janie thinks love is a part of marriage from seeing a bee pollinating a pear tree.
And Janie not understanding how relationships work because her grandmother didn’t teach her is clearly unhappy. Marriage in the 19th and early 20thcentury was not, and never was based on love. From ancient times marriages have always been business partnerships. Ways to build wealth between families and pass it down from one generation to the next. In exchange for being cared for, the woman’s part in it was to produce a male heir to her husband to manage that money in the future.
But coming from a female headed household Janie doesn’t understand this. And because the marriage didn’t meet Janie’s unrealistic expectations she decides to run away from it when Joe Starks, an ambitious glib and charming young man comes by.
Janie the Gold-digger sees Joe Starks as a tool she can use to get away from Logan Killicks when it’s clear that she won’t get any of the wonderful things Nanny promises he’d get her; just a mule to help her plow the fields.
To me, it’s clear Janie doesn’t want to WORK alongside a man for those things, she just wants to be pampered and taken care of. And Joe Starks offers her an opportunity to be the princess Nanny said she was supposed to be.
Finding a new man to use, Janie is eager to join him in Eatonville, a new Black town. Living up to her delusions, he takes her away from hard work of Logan Killicks in a hired wagon and a train ride.
Golden Age Captain Save-A-Hoe.
Unfortunately, Starks and Janie soon find a rundown place filled with residents without ambition. So he arranges to buy more land and hires residents to build up the town’s general store and announces that he’s running for Mayor of Eatonville. Janie feels she should say something.
To me, Joe Starks is just a SIMP who probably comes from a female headed household as well. Even though he’s educated and charming, it seems he has no understanding of women or how to have relationships with them. Drawn in by Janie Crawford’s light skin and long hair, he dresses her up and puts her on a pedestal not taking a serious look at all of her character and personality flaws.
But again, Janie who also comes from a female headed household doesn’t clearly understand the roles of a wife in a marriage. She doesn’t understand that in a marriage where a man owns a business, the man works out front as the leader while the woman works in the back as support. That the woman is the manager of the family and the household. This was the role of many a shopkeeper’s wife in the 19th and early 20th century.
The misguided Janie thinks she’s a trophy. Instead of finding the power within her position, she wants the power of a man. To be out up front on the porch with the men. And yet again coming from a female headed home with no understanding of the roles for men and women she thinks he’s keeping her from the social life occurring there.
But what she doesn’t understand is that her husband is PROTECTING her from those men on the porch. These were the same lazy shiftless men who weren’t about anything when they arrived in Eatonville. The same lazy shiftless men who would just want a roll in the hay with a piece of mulatto pussy. The same types of men who would have used her and abandoned her like they did her mother and grandmother.
Determined to get on that porch and get in business that doesn’t involves her, the misguided Janie perseveres. She finally gets on that porch to play checkers and hear the gossip. Joe tries to get her back in the house. It’s then that Janie emasculates Joe with the phrase “Inside yo draws is the change of life!”
It’s more like it’d be the change of her life.
This statement tells me that Janie is afraid of getting pregnant and fulfilling her role in a marriage. She’s afraid of the traditional role of a woman in the early 20th century. That’s the selfishness, stubbornness and arrogance coming into play. She wants to be the leader of the relationship not the one being led in it.
From here the almost 20-year marriage deteriorates. With Joe being a SIMP and having no backbone he dies from the humiliation. It’s either that or lung cancer from smoking all those cigars. Anyway, his passing leaves Janie the General store and the means to living well.
After a period of mourning, the now single and financially independent Janie receives many men, some of them well-to-do suitors with prestigious occupations. But like the modern independent Black woman she rejects all of them. Why?
Because Black women like Janie who come from female headed households fear the leadership of a REAL MAN. Being under female control for so long, they fear sharing equal power in a relationship with a man. They fear that the man in their lives will make her take responsibility for her actions. Because those men will ask HER what she brings to the table outside of light skin and long pretty hair. And because they’ll take charge of her newfound fortune and wealth and try to build on it in ways they don’t like. Ways that will force women like Janie to WORK alongside their man, not sit around doing nothing all day.
And Janie wants to keep the focus on the deflection of her light skin and long pretty hair. That’s what got everyone in town jealous of her. That’s what gives her power over them.
So 40-year-old Janie gets involved with Mr. Virgible “Tea Cake” Woods. Mr. Tea Cake is a younger man, a drifter, and a gambler. Someone who likes to have fun. Someone who is easy to control and manipulate.
That’s right. Janie picks Mr. Virgible “Tea Cake” Woods not out of love, like so many in the pseudo-intellectual literary world think she does. She picks him because he’s easy to control. Unlike Starks and Killicks, Tea Cake has no money, no means of supporting himself. No way to leverage power over her.
Janie can be the god who watches over him instead of being watched over by God.
This is the hubris of the Black woman. The mule of the world. Not because she’s beaten by men and forced to be molded into their image. But because she’s selfish, stubborn and arrogant enough to believe that she can take the leadership role God appointed to Men.
Janie finally finds her true love. Not Tea Cake, but power and control over a man. In some strange ironic way living the dreams of Nanny and Leafy, turning the tables on the men who raped them by taking power away from a man.
But sadly that’s where the folly of the Black woman comes into play. Thanks to the wrongheaded thinking of Nanny, Janie falsely believes that it’s Black Men who did her and her mother wrong. That it’s Black men who are out to turn her into a mule.
No, that was the White men. But some people are so emotionally involved in reading this story and are so busy identifying with the characters they can’t see that.
Like a foolish woman, Janie sells the store (a plot point Oprah Winfrey conveniently omitted from her movie adaptation) and heads to the much for Tea Cake to find work planting and harvesting beans.
It’s clear she wants Tea Cake to be a man. But a man on her terms.
When one looks at the illogic of Janie’s actions it’s clear that she isn’t fit to lead. Planting Beans? Over owning a general store and post office? She chooses Low wage work over being finically secure? But this is the folly of the independent Black woman. She doesn’t choose what’s logical, but what makes her feel good. Then complains and blames the man when it doesn’t work out.
I’m thinking Janie probably went along with this scheme so she could let Tea Cake feel like a man. If anything she could just give him a job in the store, but that’d show how emasculated he really is and how she’s in control of him.
If anything Janie’s period in the Muck where she’s so happy is a commentary of what happens when females led by other females are put in charge and when Matriarchal leadership comes to power.
Notice how When Logan Killicks and Joe Starks were in charge that they focused on building things. Janie, caught up in her emotions and being “happy” devalues the work of those Black men and destroys everything those men worked for.
The very same men accused of trying to make her into a “mule”. But in reality it’s Janie who is making an ASS out of herself with her own BAD DECISIONS.
I find it interesting that While Janie is married to Joe Starks and under his patriarchal authority she lives well for 20 years and has wealth that can be built on for the future. But when Janie comes to her own matriarchal power and leads herself she comes to complete ruin in 18 months.
Now the oblivious Janie says she has the love she always wanted. However, it’s not a love of Tea Cake for himself, but love of control over a man. But even this begins to fall apart when Tea Cake goes off his leash and gambles away all their money, and cheats on her. And yes, Mr. Tea Cake beats her.
The belligerent Janie stubbornly refusing to acknowledge her mistakes and take responsibility for her actions then makes the statement that she’s loves herself.
A deflection from her own poor choices. A denial to keep herself from seeing the truth about herself. A way to keep soldiering on stubbornly down the road to self-destruction.
The hurricane comes and Tea Cake trying to save Janie is bit by a rabid dog. Over time Tea Cake contracts rabies himself. Living in a shack and crazed from the disease he takes a pistol and threatens to kill Janie. Janie takes the shotgun and kills Tea Cake.
Now I’m thinking that the hurricane is a metaphor for God and his power and Tea cake saving her symbolizes him taking the power and establishing himself in the leadership role men have over women.
Anyway, I’m also thinking the rabies are a metaphor for the power and control that Janie loses over Tea Cake. And I’m thinking that she sees him as crazy because she can no longer control him. And when he tries to take his power back from her as a man with the symbolic pistol she takes a bigger weapon (the shotgun) and kills him.
Now there’s a trial. And while the Black men of the community protest the killing, white women come to Janie’s defense. In the end all white Jury clears Janie of murder charges.
This part of the plot shows me the power of White Supremacy and how it supports the extermination of Black men. Notice how the White people come to Janie’s aid after she kills a Black man. Notice how they portray her as a victim. Notice how the All-White jury acquits her for the murder of the alleged love of her life. In this climax of the story it’s clear that the Black man’s life has no value for Janie. Being raised in a female headed household she never once learned how to value men as people or love them as human beings. As I stated before, Black men are just an ends to a means to this indifferent gold-digger.
Here’s where we run into a nice little plothole: Janie who is supposedly broke from Tea Cake stealing and gambling all her money away, somehow has enough money to give him an elaborate funeral. The same woman who is so poor that she has to head back to Eatonville barefoot in a pair of men’s overalls humiliated and ashamed. The talk of the town.
Shawn smells bullshit. And he calls it. How is Janie Crawford a victim of these Black Men? How did they use her?
If anything it seems to me she was taught to be a predator by Nanny.
Nanny used her to trick Logan Killicks into marrying her so she could get the things she wanted in life. When he told her she’d have to work for them as his partner in the marriage she ran away with Joe Starks, a man she used like a tool to escape her marriage to Killicks.
And When Joe Starks told her that she had to work within a role and be part of a team, she humiliated and emasculated him. And when he died she inherited his business.
But when she thought she’d be discovered as irresponsible and incompetent when she couldn’t run that business, she sold it to run off with Mr. Virgible “Tea Cake Woods a younger man she felt was perfect because he was naïve about life and she could take advantage of him. Thinking she had control over him, she thought she found love, but it was a love of power and control over a man. When he became uncontrollable and sought to assert his authority over her in that shack in the muck, she killed him.
It’s clear to me that each of these men were tools to her. An ends to a means. A way to get ahead in life.
And her putting on the overalls and walking back to Eatonville is just another way to manipulate people into believing she’s the victim of a “no good Black Man”, when it was her own irresponsible actions that led to her own ignominious folly.
But to listen to the intellectuals and it’s a different story. Janie Crawford is a victim of numerous abuses from EEEEEEVIL Black men.
But according to Hurston, Janie is an empowered independent female. According to Black feminists in the 1970s, the she was a woman ahead of her time. It’s no wonder the Black community has gone straight to Hell over the last 40 years of Matriarchal leadership.
Seriously, that mainstream analysis of this so-called literary classic is a crock of bullshit. If anything, Janie is not a victim of the Black men in her life, but of the Black women who raised her and the supremacy of White slave masters who raped them. Coming from that female headed house rooted in White Supremacist sexual violence she was programmed with a head full of misandristic nonsense against Black men. And thanks to that nonsense she had a distorted and perception of how the world worked, especially how things worked in relationships with men.
It’s clear to me that the Black men didn’t abuse her. They thought they were getting involved with a woman who could help them in their endeavors. A partner. A help meet. It’s her wrongheaded thinking rooted in entitlement taught to her by Nanny that leads to the destruction of all her relationships. That’s what made her as stubborn as a mule.
Now this critically reviled poor selling piece of horseshit by Zora Neale Hurston would have faded into obscurity if not for feminists like Alice Walker (A real nutjob) reviving interest in this book and hailing it as a classic. Twisting a mediocre novel to promote their misandristic man-hating views. Portraying Janie Crawford as a victim of Black men to millions of young high school and college students who took it for gospel truth.
The same kids who were too young to closely examine Janie’s upbringing from that Black Female headed household as the root of why her relationships failed with each of these three Black men. The same Black women who identified with the character and all the emotions of the novel, but didn’t take the time to objectively examine the story. Kids who have been brainwashed and misled to believe that Black women are victims of Black men, not manipulated by the wrongheaded ideals of their mothers and grandmothers.
Shawn takes the time to read between the lines of dialect in this book and objectively judge the characters by their actions. And in that picture Janie Crawford is a villain, not a heroine.
Taking an objective look at this alleged literary classic I can see that it’s not a great story. However I see how it’s been used as propaganda by Black feminists like Alice Walker and Oprah Winfrey to promote misandry against Black men. Promoted by pseudo intellectual feminists and pussy begging Mangina college professors and teachers who misinterpret the message and themes of this poorly written book to paint Janie Crawford as a victim of the abuses of Black men when she in fact was misled by Black women.
If anything, this story shows what happens when a Black woman doesn’t have a positive Black male figure in her life. How they become lost and confused. How they have no direction in their life. How they eventually self-destruct because they don’t know how to follow a leadership of a Black man or work with a Black man towards achieving their goals together.
But this is just silly old Monroe College graduate Shawn providing his little analysis of these events in Zora Neale Hurston’s alleged literary classic Their Eyes Were Watching God. Don’t take them for truth. And don’t use this blog as a source in your term paper. It’ll cause you to fail. Not because my viewpoints are wrong, but because it’s making those pseudo intellectuals at those colleges think about things from a different perspective.