Their Eyes

“janie stood where he left her for unmeasured time and thought.  She stood there until something fell off the self inside her.  Then she went inside there to see what it was.  It was her image of Jody tumbled down and shattered.  But looking at it she saw that it never the flesh and blood figure of her dreams.  Just something she had grabbed up to drape her dreams over. In a way she turned her back upon the image where it lay and looked further.  She had no more blossomy openings dusting pollen over her man, neither any glistening young fruit where the petals used to be.  She found that she had  a host of thoughts she had never expressed to him, and numerous emotions she had never let Jody know about.  Things packed up and put away in parts of her heart where he could never find them.  She was saving up feelings for some man she had never seen.  She had an inside and now and suddenly she knew how not to mix them.”

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel. New York: Perennial Library, 1990

Notes: This is the moment when Janie looks inside of her and realizes the marriage with Jody has been a farce.  Jody was never the figure of her dreams, but instead just “something she had grabbed up to drape her dreams over.”   Janie was in love more with the idea of Jodie (ambitious businessmen) than actually Jodie himself.   Jodie is a figure of escape for Janie, however, what ensues is a realization that the marriage has pushed her into a state of even greater repression.

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