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There Eyes Were Watching God

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The role silence plays throughout the novel is that of an oppressor and a liberator. When she decides to leave Killicks words are not needed; she knows what needs to be done and doesn't exhaust time telling him. Silence also gives people a chance to help her because she chooses not to do for herself,but this also makes her dependent on others to save her. Her silence causes her to suppress her thoughts and feelings for sizable amount of her life, keeping her ideals inside her head. Her silence, both positive and negative, is present throughout this book and has effects mere words can not.

She is silent after the big fight with Killicks because words are not needed. She doesn't fight back; she walks away and makes the decision to leave. The book states, "Janie hurried out of the front gate and turned south. Even if Joe was not there waiting for her, the change was bound to do her good."(Hurston 32). She realizes things will never change and decides to leave. This is a time where her silence helps emancipate her from her unhappy life.

There is a point in the book to where Janie feels the need to save an elderly mule from his brutal life, but she doesn't defend it. the author writes, "People ought to have some regard for helpless things. she wanted to fight about it.' but Ah hates disagreement and confusion, so Ah better not talk.'"( 57). Her silence is brought on by fear of confrontation and so she does nothing to save the helpless mule. In this incident her silence doesn't hinder the fate she wants for the mule because her husband buys it and saves her from having to make any decisions on her own.

When she is married to jody she lets him dominate her world. He has complete control over everything she says and does, and she doesn't fight back. She says, "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" ( 72). She conceals her feelings and thoughts from him and this prevents her from being blithe. Her own inability to defend herself causes her to live for an unmeasurable amount of time in depression.

Her silence throughout the book makes situations harder, but it plays a vital role throughout her life in sculpting her into her own person. When she is silent while she was inside cooking she enables herself to escape from Killicks. Her silence when wanting to save the mule does not prohibit it from being saved, but it shows that she is dependent on other people to take action for her. However, her silence also forces her to live in a unsatisfying, stifling environment with her jody that she can not escape. These emancipating and constraining moments follow her and affect every decision for the rest of her life.



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