Their Eyes Were Watching God

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The Horizon Symbol Analysis

The Horizon Symbol Icon
Janie invokes the symbol of the horizon repeatedly throughout the novel; to Janie, the horizon symbolizes the realm of the possible, that which she can dream about. During her arranged marriage with Logan Killicks, Janie remarks that the stylish and ambitious Jody Starks shows her a glimpse of the horizon, meaning that he provides her with a vision of what her life could be like. Though after Jody, too, turns out to treat Janie poorly and stifle her voice, it is Tea Cake who ultimately provides Janie with access to the horizon: in her marriage with Tea Cake, Janie is able to find love, sexual satisfaction, independence ,and self-expression all at once, that which she has always dreamed of. For that reason, even after Tea Cakes death, Janie feels that she still has and always will have access to the metaphorical horizon.
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The Horizon Symbol Timeline in Their Eyes Were Watching God

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Horizon appears in Their Eyes Were Watching God. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Voice, Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Power, Judgment, and Jealousy Theme Icon
...about her; without any elaboration or detail, Janie explains that she has traveled "tuh de horizon and back." She has returned to Eatonville because Tea Cake is gone and she was... (full context)
Chapter 4
Gender Roles and Relations Theme Icon
Desire, Love, and Independence Theme Icon
...Joe does not "represent sun-up and pollen and blooming trees," he nonetheless "spoke for far horizon," and this is why she finds herself so attracted to him. (full context)
Chapter 9
Gender Roles and Relations Theme Icon
Power, Judgment, and Jealousy Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
...taught Janie as a child. Specifically, Janie says that Nanny took the idea of the horizon and limited it "to such a little bit of a thing." In other words, Janie... (full context)
Chapter 20
Voice, Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Desire, Love, and Independence Theme Icon
Power, Judgment, and Jealousy Theme Icon
...telling her that she is satisfied to be home, as she has "been tuh the horizon and back." Janie expresses awareness of the judgments she will face now, but that she... (full context)