In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston writes, "Like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone." What might this metaphor mean?  

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At the start of chapter 2, Janie is a young woman living with her grandmother, Nanny. As she tells her life story in retrospect, Janie tells Pheoby that she sees "her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone. Dawn and doom were in the branches" (8). This simile ("like a great tree") captures the idea that life is full of ups and downs, enriching and destructive experiences. They are all part of that one life; beginnings and endings exist there. This is a way for Janie to preview her narrative and indicate that she will tell us (and Pheoby) about all of the varied experiences she has "enjoyed" and "suffered."

She begins with details about her life with Nanny, about the mother who abandoned her (Leafy), and about how...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 411 words.)

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