What characteristics do Janie's three husbands share?

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MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Although each marriage is very different, I would argue that there are a few commonalities between the men.

  • Each man dominates Janie in some way. Logan sees her as another hand to help work the farm, and keeps her at home. Jody considers her almost like a trophy wife, and insists she wear her hair up. He also won't allow her to speak her mind. Tea Cake physically abuses her, and tells her it is so she'll know her place.
  • Each man is hard-working in their own way. Logan constantly works to keep his farm running. Jody builds up his business and becomes mayor of Eatonville. Tea-Cake works with Janie in the fields, and although he gambles and seems aloof, he does work to earn money for himself and Janie.
  • Each man helps Janie discover another aspect of herself. Logan awakens Janie to the reality of marriage, and his treatment encourages her to seek someone who will live up to her standards of love. Jody shows her that she has the strength to stand up for herself and claim her own life. Tea-Cake helps Janie discover what she really wants, & shows her that there can be happiness in life.

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