What enables Janie's success in the act of reclaiming her self-possession in the capitalist patriarchy rendered by Hurston?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Janie’s quest to be treated as an individual and her determination to be treated equally helped her succeed in reclaiming her identity. The fight for her individuality was clearly depicted in her first two marriages. In her first marriage, she was married off to Logan Killick, a passive individual who also showed a lack of ambition to match his wife’s. Janie separated from Logan after it became clear that he expected her to work as he did. She left him for Joe Stark, an ambitious man, who became mayor of Eatonville. However, Stark wanted Janie for a trophy wife because she was light-skinned and thus a status symbol at the time. In spite of the wealth that they found together, Janie remained unhappy as she was being mistreated by Stark. This strained the relationship which ended after the death of Stark. Janie’s desire to carve out her own identity led to the conflicts in her first two marriages. Her previous husband attempted to control her but she remained assertive.

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Their Eyes Were Watching God

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