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Their Eyes Were Watching God

by Zora Neale Hurston
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In Their Eyes Were Watching God, what complaints does Janie have in her marriage to Logan Killocks? What goads him to anger?

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Janie never wanted to marry Logan but gave in to her grandmother’s wishes to secure Janie’s future. From the beginning, Janie worried that she would not love Logan, and she even brought her concerns to Nanny, who pushed them aside. Nanny assures Janie that in time she will learn to...

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Janie never wanted to marry Logan but gave in to her grandmother’s wishes to secure Janie’s future. From the beginning, Janie worried that she would not love Logan, and she even brought her concerns to Nanny, who pushed them aside. Nanny assures Janie that in time she will learn to love her husband. She reminds her granddaughter of her own struggles, indicating that she is making sure Janie does not have the same misery in her life.

As they settle into married life, Logan is at first very sweet to Janie. But that ends and he stops “talking in rhymes to her.” He tells her that he will chop the wood, and she is to bring it inside. Janie is unhappy with the prospect of having to perform manual labor alongside a man she neither loves nor is attracted to. Logan tells her she is “spoilt rotten.” She retorts with a threat not to cook his dinner.

Logan will not accept no for an answer. He leaves to purchase a second mule that he makes clear will be for Janie. He will need her help plowing, so he wants to buy a mule “even uh woman kin handle.”

When Janie meets Joe, she is dazzled by his words and stylish looks. He is a sharp contrast to Logan. Janie considers Joe’s offer to run away and even broaches the subject of leaving with Logan one night. The next morning, Logan calls for Janie to stop “foolin’ round” in the kitchen and help him with the manure pile. They argue because Janie tells him her place is in the kitchen, and his place is outside doing chores. Logan, who has always feared losing Janie, becomes angry. Accusing her of having someone else, he threatens to kill her. Janie has had enough and leaves.

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