Their Eyes Were Watching God is Hurston’s best-known work, a novel that centers around Janie, a poor black girl raised in Florida by her grandmother, who is always searching for something more. Her struggle with who she wants to be versus who others expect her to be is a central conflict throughout the novel.
Their Eyes Were Watching God Literary Conflict - zora neale hurston books
CHARACTER vs CHARACTER
CHARACTER vs SELF
CHARACTER vs SOCIETY
Janie is aggravated and disturbed by Jody’s constant remarks about her age and body. She knows that he feels self-conscious about his own aging body and is projecting, but when he critiques her in front of men in the store, she insults his manhood and compares his body to a woman in menopause. He strikes her out of humiliation and his lost sense of pride.
Shortly after Janie marries Logan Killicks, she keeps waiting to be happy. She’s been told her whole life that when people get married, they fall in love, so she marries Logan and waits for the love to begin. After a year, Janie realizes that being married does not create love, and her dreams of love and marriage die. She becomes restless and expectant for something more.
Janie returns home and finds that the other women of the town gossip about her. They are jealous of her beauty, and say she acts as if she’s better than they are. They remember how she left Eatonville with all of Joe Starks’ money, and they wonder where Tea Cake is, a man much younger than Janie. They're jealous, so they ostracize her.