Janie’s Character Evolution

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Their Eyes Were Watching God


Janie's Character Evolution in Their Eyes Were Watching God

Example



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Activity Overview


Janie undergoes an evolution as she journeys through different places and marriages, learning important lessons about life along the way. Use the activity for Character Evolution found here with your students to help them keep track of how Janie evolves throughout the course of the novel.


Exposition

Janie’s Traits: 16 years old; long beautiful hair; young and a dreamer

Explanation: After sitting under a pear tree, Janie decides that she wants to find a love that is effortless and beautiful; her soul is searching for it. She allows a young boy named Johnny Taylor to kiss her. Nanny sees.


Conflict/Rising Action

Janie’s Traits: Early 20s; works in Eatonville General Store; keeps her hair tied up in a head-rag; dresses in fancy clothes; miserable

Explanation: After Janie is married off to Logan and learns that marriage does not equal love, she runs off with Joe Starks. Joe intends to keep Janie as a trophy wife and is very jealous of other men looking at her. He isolates her and forces her to hide her hair.


Climax

Janie’s Traits: Late 30s; wears overalls; hangs on Tea Cake's every word; works beside him in the bean fields

Janie’s Traits: After Joe's death, Janie finds true love with Tea Cake. He makes her happy, and she feels like she is finally in a true, effortless partnership.


Falling Action

Janie’s Traits: Late 30s; depressed and devastated

Explanation: Janie had to kill Tea Cake because rabies took over his mind. He flew into a jealous rage and tried to shoot Janie. Luckily, she had rigged his gun in case he tried to shoot her; she kills him with a rifle and is put on trial. She is acquitted.


Resolution

Janie’s Traits: Early 40s; still beautiful; wears overalls; quiet; proud

Explanation: Janie returns to Eatonville to the stares and envious gossip of the town women. She realizes that she finally found the love she had always wanted, and her soul feels at peace. She doesn't acknowledge the other women's gossip because she is now beyond all of that.


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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows the evolution of Janie throughout the course of Their Eyes Were Watching God.


  1. Use the Character Evolution Template to get started.
  2. Break the story down into Exposition, Conflict/Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution. What traits does Janie have?
  3. Illustrate one or more of the traits for each stage of the story.
  4. Identify major events in each part of the story that affected Janie.

Character Evolution Template - Novel/Story

Template


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Rubric

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