Thursday, December 21, 2006

Whupin' Janie

Finished reading Their Eyes Were Watching God today. I'm having a lot of trouble wrappingmy brain around one part of the book.

In one chapter Janie (central character) is beaten by her husband. The problematic part is we never see an effect on her. In fact, the chapter it occurs in could be excised from the book, since the event is never mentioned afterwords. There is absolute silence on the matter after the one short chapter.

Granted I am looking at things from a 2006 perspective and the book was published in the 1930s. But still, even in that context the silence of Janie's perspective is troubling. Not that she has a reaction of silence, but that it is hard to demonstrate any reaction at all. Or maybe I'm missing something. I should look into critical perspectives on that aspect o the novel. There is probably a lot out there, at least on gender politics in the book.

... And I just googled for such material. Glad to see I'm not the only person for whom the beating raised questions. So far, though, I'm not satisfied with the analysis I'm finding. Nothing that really helps me process things yet. I'll keep looking.

Anyone looking for a theme paper topic: compare the portrayal of storms in TEWWG, Carl Hiassen's Bad Weather, and The Wizard of Oz. Don't even have to cite me for the idea.

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