Illustration of the profile of Janine Crawford and another person facing each other

Their Eyes Were Watching God

by Zora Neale Hurston

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What does Janie ask herself as her marriage approaches?

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As her marriage approaches, Janie asks whether marriage will take away her loneliness and whether it will inspire love between her and her new husband.

Janie asks these questions because of her deep insecurity regarding men, romance, and love. Too young to understand the ramifications of her arranged marriage to Logan Killicks, Janie can only stumble along and trust that Nanny (her grandmother) has made the right decision.

After her marriage to Logan, however, Janie discovers that love isn't something one can manufacture out of desperation or even determination. She tells Nanny that she finds nothing sexually attractive about Logan. First, he's not her physical type, and secondly, he has poor hygiene. Janie complains that Logan smells and that she can't bring herself to think of him romantically. For her part, Nanny scolds Janie, castigating her for not appreciating Logan's wealth. After all, Janie now lives in a big house located on sixty acres of land.

Depressed, Janie decides to give her marriage a chance. However, her relationship with Logan never improves, and she eventually leaves him.

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The answer to this question can be found at the very beginning of Chapter Three. Now that she is being forced to marry Logan, an older man who Janie's grandmother selected for her daughter to marry in an attempt to curb her budding sexuality, Janie finds that the vision of sexuality she received whilst standing at the pear tree causes her to ask some very deep and profound questions. Note what she asks herself as the day of her marriage slips ever closer:

There are years that ask questions and years that answer. Janie had no chance to know things, so she had to ask. Did marriage end the cosmic loneliness of the unmated? Did marriage compel love like the sun in the day?

For Janie, a young girl who is on the cusp of womanhood, she has never had any real opportunity to experience life and love, and so these are the kind of questions that she asks herself as she tries to work out the meaning of love and of how marriage fits into her understanding of love and loneliness.

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