Their Eyes Were Watching God


Zora Neale Hurston

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Their Eyes Were Watching God Symbols

The Horizon

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(read full symbol analysis)

The Pear Tree

Janie has her first experience of sexual awakening under the blooming pear tree in spring, just before her first kiss with Johnny Taylor. Throughout the novel, the pear tree symbolizes for Janie the feeling… (read full symbol analysis)


Tea Cake invites Janie to play checkers when they first meet, making Janie feel equal in power to a man she is interested in for the first time in her life. The game of checkers… (read full symbol analysis)


The image of the mule emerges repeatedly in different contexts throughout the novel, but remains consistent in its figurative meaning as a symbol of victimization and bondage. The image of the mule first appears when… (read full symbol analysis)

The Hurricane

The hurricane symbolizes the all-powerful force of nature, which trumps even the most intense exertions of power by humans, such as Jody's abusive need for control, or Mrs. Turner's sense of racial hierarchy… (read full symbol analysis)

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