Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Their Eyes Were Watching God Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
During the anxious "few days to live before" marrying Logan Killicks, Janie contemplates whether or not she will ever grow to love her future husband, resolving eventually to comfort herself: to believe what Nanny and other adults assure her – that she will in fact eventually love Logan and be happy. Janie and Logan get married in Nanny's home – with a luxurious feast and celebration. Afterward, the new husband and wife set out on Logan's wagon to his house and his "often-mentioned sixty acres."
Janie does not feel authentic sexual desire for Logan and thus becomes aware that her views about marriage and gender diverge from those of her grandmother. Janie's decision to convince herself that she will eventually love Logan emerges from her allegiance to Nanny and her understanding of how Nanny's past traumatic experiences have conditioned her to seek the more traditional virtue of security for her granddaughter.
Themes
Gender Roles and Relations Theme Icon
Desire, Love, and Independence Theme Icon
Two months pass while Janie "waits for love to begin" for her new husband until she returns home to visit Nanny. When she does return, Janie complains to Nanny about the absence of feeling in her marriage and how she yearns for something "sweet" in her marriage, like "when you sit under a pear tree."
Even though Janie now has financial stability in her life, she becomes increasingly aware of her distinctive idea of love –in her mind, love is equated with the sexual desire and passion she felt beneath the pear tree but does not with Logan.
Themes
Gender Roles and Relations Theme Icon
Desire, Love, and Independence Theme Icon
Janie is then met with severe criticism: Nanny calls attention to Logan's wealth, again making reference to his sixty-acres of property, and reprimands Janie for not appreciating how lucky she is to be so financially secure. Nanny sends Janie back to her new home, again assuring her that she will soon grow to love Logan.
Janie's marriage to Logan can be seen as the product of Janie's submissive role in relation to her controlling grandmother – again, even if it is a loving control. Nanny projects her own fear of the instability she herself experienced onto Janie, and as a result of this insecurity, attempts to control Janie.
Themes
Gender Roles and Relations Theme Icon
Desire, Love, and Independence Theme Icon
Power, Judgment, and Jealousy Theme Icon
After Janie leaves, Nanny prays that God will take care of her granddaughter. Within a month, Nanny dies. Through her marriage to Logan, Janie's dream of marriage bringing about love or somehow being equivalent to it is proven wrong. As a result, she feels that she has become a woman.
After Nanny's death, Janie can think for herself about sex, love, marriage and identity. After realizing that marriage does not bring about love – and by extension, sexual desire – Janie self-identifies as a woman, both because she has the experience to be able to differentiate between sex, love and marriage and because she has experienced disappointment at the hands of men.
Themes
Gender Roles and Relations Theme Icon
Voice, Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Desire, Love, and Independence Theme Icon
Power, Judgment, and Jealousy Theme Icon
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