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How Have Logan Killicks and Joe Starks Changed Janie's View of and Quest for Love Since She First Kissed Johnny Taylor over the Gatepost?

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Janie’s view of true love began when see saw the relationship between a bee and a blossom on a pear tree in her grandmother’s back yard. Since then, she describes herself as the pear tree looking for a loving bee and begins her quest to fulfill her desire for love. During her journey she is met with three men: Johnny Taylor, Logan Killicks, and Joe Starks. With Johnny she felt the sensation of intimacy that she longed for until she was forced to leave. However, Logan Killicks and Joe Starks disrupt her thoughts of perfect love and lead her to develop her idea of love.

Janie’s marriage with Logan Killicks shows her that wealth and marriage cannot give true love. Janie knew she did not love Logan and doubted that he would the singing bee to her pear tree. Although Janie thinks that in marriage a couple needs to love each other, Nanny convinces her that love will come after they marry and that Logan will provide her with wealth and protection. After several months of her marriage she grows lonely waiting for love to knock. She soon becomes aware of her desire for love, and realizes that “She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman.” Initially, Logan seems like a kind man, but upon marrying him, it is revealed that he hectors Janie and puts her to work in his potato farm. This makes Janie aware that wealth is not the deciding factor for true love. Finally, she realizes that Logan is not the one for her and chooses to continue her quest with a new companion, Joe Starks.

Joe Starks leads Janie to believe that love is not only about the relationship and intimacy, but also needs equality and freedom. Upon first meeting Joe, Janie is immediately attracted to his personality. Joe’s dream of becoming a “big voice,” and the promise of being treated like royalty allows her to make the choice to run away with Joe to Eatonville. However, as Joe becomes mayor his personality gradually changes. He begins to slowly take control of Janie’s life by not letting her speak and forcing her to wear a headdress. Eventually it becomes worse to the point that it is physical abuse. At this moment she becomes aware that she is unsatisfied with her marriage and her lack of freedom and sees that Joe was never her true love, as it stated “But looking at it she saw that it never was the flesh and blood figure of her dreams. Just something she had grabbed up to drape her dreams over.”

Throughout Janie’s quest for love she discovers different kinds of love with both her husbands, Logan and Joe, that develops her image of true love. When the thought of love first passes through her mind she compares it to the “marriage” of the bee and the pear tree. Her experience with Johnny Taylor awakens the sensation and desire for love. However, her two marriages fail to meet the expectations of love seen by the bee and the tree, but allow her see love from a more full perspective.

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