Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God begins and ends with the horizon. The horizon is the line between the sky and the earth, or sea, and is the maximum distance that an observer can see. The horizon is therefore a barrier between the known and unknown, a divider between the world of concrete actions and the world of dreams. In the first lines of the text, we learn that, in life, men never go beyond the horizon:
Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others, they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men.
Men spend their lives either on land or just at the edge of the horizon. The lives of men, therefore are grounded in the visible, concrete world. Men are bound by the horizon, and men, in turn, bind women to the horizon.
Marriage binds Janie, the protagonist , to the world of men. Janie...
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