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Their Eyes were Watching God: How slavery influences Nanny's idea of Marriage

Uploaded by Admin on Jul 03, 2000

In Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Heale Hurston a former slave named Nanny's ideal marriage is if the relationship provides both protection and security. Although people always have their own perspectives and standpoints of problems that are different from others, Nanny's own view of marriage is influenced by slavery and her ill-fated life experience.

As a former slave, Nanny's idea of marriage is influenced by her social status. Back to the years of slavery, African-American couldn't get too much freedom, and they were treated as goods by their white masters. Especially for the African-American women, they were at the bottom of the society which had made their lives even harder. The slavery had anchored Nanny's mind, she believed that the best thing could happen to an African-American woman is to marry a man that can depend on, which the marriage can provide protection. Johnny Taylor is not the one because Nanny thought some trifling youth like him would ruin Janie's life, and Nanny has chosen someone who is respectable, someone like Logan Killicks. Nanny's granddaughter Janie, a youthful girl who was born as a free child, she doesn't have to go through the hard time as a slave that her Nanny has experienced. Janie believes that she should fulfill her own dream by marrying a man that she loves, and she disregard the importance of material wealth.

Nanny has learned the lesson that love is not synonymous with love, and she thinks Janie is just too young to realize the truth. As a slave near the end of the Civil War, Nanny gave birth to her white master's child, who became Janie's mother. But the white man disappointed Nanny when the his wife realized the baby is her husband's, his wife went into a jealous rage; she declared that Nanny would receive a hundred lashes in the morning and watch her baby sold off when it is a month old, but he didn't do anything for Nanny and his own child, and Nanny had to escape with her baby eventually. This painful heartbreaking experience has taught Nanny a harsh lesson that love cannot always be trusted; more than that, love cannot play a only part in marriage. Unlike her young granddaughter Janie who is youthful and only sees the reason to marry is if is true love. ¡§the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   07/03/2000

Category:   Their Eyes Were Watching God

Length:   4 pages (795 words)

Views:   3173

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