Their Eyes Were Watching God Questions and Answers
by Zora Neale Hurston

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In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, what does the horizon mean for Janie symbolically?

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In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston uses the image of the horizon to symbolically represent Janie’s aspirations for equality within marriage. Early in the novel, Hurston employs the symbol to represent Janie’s hope that she might find love in the wake of her marriage with Logan. Janie abandons this unsuccessful marriage in favor of a union with Joe Starks . Having made the decision to leave Logan, Janie experiences a “feeling of sudden newness and change.” Hurston writes, “The morning air was like a new dress. That made her feel the apron tied around her waist. She untied it and flung it on a low bush beside the road and walked on.” Janie leaves Logan in search of equality within marriage. The apron symbolizes Janie’s domestic oppression, which she attempts to leave behind on the side of the road. Janie hopes Joe Starks embodies the newness and change she searches for, and she measures him against the perfect image of the pear tree: “he did not represent the...

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