Hope On The Horizon Essay

1273 words - 6 pages

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.” In literature, the horizon is representative of future, destiny, and hope. It means something different for each person, but for each person it represents a goal, a perpetual dream– always in sight, but forever out of reach. For some people, this stands as a harsh reminder of their inability to obtain it, but for some people it keeps them going and gives them something to work towards. Janie, from Their Eyes Were Watching God, is constantly working towards her horizon. Throughout this novel, by Zora Neale Hurston, the horizon symbolizes Janie’s ...view middle of the document...

As many months and entire seasons pass with Logan, Janie begins to lose sight of her horizon, and as she takes one good look towards it she realizes “that marriage [does] not make love. Janie’s first dream [is] dead, so she [becomes] a woman”(25). Through being with Logan and learning from the experiences, her horizon shifts and grows into something more attainable. Janie is maturing and her dreams are maturing with her, into hopes she will one day be able to fulfill. The sun is up, the horizon is clear, and Janie is on the way to her dreams.
With Janie’s newly blossomed mind, she picks up and heads south with Joseph Starks by her side. She leaves Logan for Joe, in hopes that he might be the missing bee in her ideal, pear tree love. She leaves Logan because Jody “[speaks] for far horizon”(29). He speaks of a promising future in a new place, with new people, and with a newfound sense of freedom. With the excitement of a new start fogging up her mind, Janie starts her life with Joe and “the change was bound to do her good”(32). Though Janie and Jody’s relationship is not at all how she has dreamed, Janie truly discovers herself during her time spent in Eatonville. She grows and learns to be a completely different woman when she is faced with a change in Joe’s behavior. As he becomes more protective and suppressive, she shapes into who she has to be to make her way through life– or at least who she is made to believe she has to be. During the relationship with Jody, Janie learns to keep quiet, sit down, and do what she is told– “[no] matter what Jody [does], she [says] nothing”(76). Jody becomes a cage for Janie, with her horizon in sight and absolutely no way to move towards it. She is a vacant body set to a daily routine. This remains true, that is, until Jody passes away. “Jody is dead. [Her] husband is gone from [her]”(87), but with Jody’s death comes Janie’s freedom. Janie’s young, determined soul has been resurrected and it is on its way, sailing smoothly to her horizon.
After Janie rejoices in the pure bliss that is this long-awaited freedom, she finds herself feeling empty. The house she once shared with Jody now “creaked and cried all night under the weight of lonesomeness”(89). She feels bleak and desolate, but most of all betrayed by her Nanny. When insisting on Janie engaging in a loveless marriage,...

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