Thoughts and Mockery

“In the few days to live before she went to Logan Killicks and his often-mentioned sixty acres, Janie asked inside of herself and out. She was back and forth to the pear tree continuously wondering and thinking. Finally out of Nanny’s talk and her own conjectures she made a sort of comfort for herself. Yes, she would love Logan after they were married. She could see no way for it to come about, but Nanny and the old folks had said it, so it must be so. Husbands and wives always loved each other, and that was what marriage meant. It was just so” (Hurston, 21).

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006. Print.

Janie convinces herself with her own inner thoughts, the words of encouragement¬†given to her by her grandmother, and words of advice she has heard the elderly townspeople say, that marrying Logan and following this path in her life will lead to doing the right thing. What I find interesting is that she persuades herself it is worth doing despite knowing she doesn’t quite want to, and that even before she marries him her days of ‘living’ are limited. She wants love and she thinks this could turn out to be the way to find it, but what she really wants is freedom, she just doesn’t know it yet.

I also can’t help but sense a little bit of mockery of Janie’s reasoning on behalf of the narrator. “She could see no way for it to come about, but Nanny and the old folks had said it, so it must be so” seems to mildly attack Janie’s naivete or potentially dangerous trust of what other people say, even though such people are considered older and wiser.