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Janie's entire life is one of a journey. She lives through a grandmother, three husbands, and innumerable friends. Throughout is all, she grows closer and closer to her ideals about love and how to live one's life Janie's life begins under the watchful eye of her grandmother. Her grandmother has given up her own happiness to raise Janie and her mother. Right away, it is obvious that Janie's life is going to be different than her grandmother's. For starters, Janie has very different ideas about love than any other character.
She may not be able to clearly define her thoughts. The first glimpse into the past involves Janie underneath a pear tree, watching the flowers bloom. Janie's grandmother is old and weak. She never had a person in her life that cared for her and truly wanted to look out for her well-being. As a result, she is frightened by Janie's refusal to follow the mold, her refusal to marry Logan for convenience instead of love. Janie learns a very important lesson from her grandmother.
Not a lesson to emulate, but not even confidence is enough in ones own ability to be strong with adversity She does not want to be like her grandmother. She is young and beautiful and knows what she is longing for in her life. She does not get what she wants with Logan Killicks, her first husband. Janie married Logan because her grandmother wanted her to.
Her grandmother could not understand why she did not love him, as he had sixty acres of land. Janie did not love him. She cannot get her perfect vision of love out of her mind. Logan makes her do menial chores around the house, and treats her like a beast of burden. She thinks that her prayers are answered when she first sees Joe Starks. In fact, she first sees him through a veil of her hair, and it is her long, luxurious hair that he is first attracted to.
She decides to marry Joe instead. She thinks that he represents the romantic ideal that she has been searching for. Soon, however, Janie sees that while Joe loves her beauty, he does not even see anything else that she has to offer. When people ask her to make a speech, he cuts her off. He views her as an ornament, nothing else, and he makes her bind her hair so that other men won't look at it. She never realized just how tied down she was by him until he dies.
As soon as he takes his last breath she lets her plentiful hair down. With the releasing of her hair, Janie lets her soul out from behind the iron smile she has kept on her face to keep Joe happy. At this point in her life, Janie has decided that she no longer needs to please another person. She is still looking for her perfect pear-blossom world; however, she finds it in one of the most unlikely places.
Tea Cake is younger than she, poorer than she, and can offer her nothing but love. Fortunately, all Janie needs is love. He doesn't want to use her as a mule, or as an ornament, or as anything but a person to love. This is not to say that their life together is completely without its share of fights and arguments, but they are both willing to sacrifice everything for each other. Tea Cake's death reveals as much about his relationship with Janie as his life did. When he dies, Janie mourns in her overalls.
Janie allows her friend to share her story, because she feels that she cannot tell it again. She doesn't need to. Janie has lived her life and survived her journey.
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Research essay sample on Tea Cake Janie Life