What is the significance of the pear tree in Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston?

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mvmaurno eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The pear tree is also a motif that symbolizes the evolution of Janie's dream from that of her grandmother's early on (to get married to a prominent, wealthy man) to her entry into her third and final marriage to Teacake, the man who shows her the meaning of true love while allowing her to be herself.  Whenever she is in need of inspiration or contemplation (usually after a failed marriage), she returns to the pear tree to reflect on where she is at in her life and where she is going.  She never loses site of her optimism in spite of a her many trials and tribulations. The constant rebirth of the tree mirrors her constant springing back from the wrong path and return to her quest for true love, no matter what physical or emotional abuse she may have endured along the way. 

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Their Eyes Were Watching God

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