Chasing the Horizon
“Their Eyes Were Watching God” written by Zora Neale Hurston tells the story of a biracial woman named Janie Crawford and her struggles to find self-worth while blossoming into her true self. The story is told from Janie's perspective, and discusses: heartbreak and anger caused by letdowns, reminiscing about romantic fantasies, and trying to follow her heart while trying to please others. Zora Neale Hurston uses the horizon as a symbolic image referring to Janie's hopes and dreams of change, improvement, and freedom in her life. Throughout the book Hurston expresses this through love, death, fear, poverty, and purpose. Throughout “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, the horizon will symbolize: dreams and hopes for improvement, impact to stop believing, a disability to reach a dream, and struggling with finding self-worth and love.
Initially, Hurston uses the horizon as a symbol throughout the novel as a form of dreams and hopes for Janie to see improvements in her life. Zora Neale Hurston started the novel off with “Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board.” (Hurston 1). By doing this Hurston is showing how Janie is lacking love and still in search of her true self. She often found herself daydream our fantasizing about how she imagined her life to be. Janie dreamed and hoped for bigger and better things . However, due to her circumstances she felt as if she could not achieve her goals and dreams.
In addition, Janie's view of the horizon is impacted at an early age by her grandmother, Nanny. “Here Nanny had taken the biggest thing God ever made, the horizon – for no matter how far a person can go the horizon is still way beyond you – and pinched it in to such a little bit of a thing that she could tie it about her granddaughter's neck tight enough to choke her.” (Hurston 89). Since Janie was little Nanny had made most decisions for Janie, with little reasoning or none at all. Nanny forced Janie to leave her first love to...