Their Eyes Were Watching God, Social Context, Bryant Magdaleno

“Janie asked inside of herself and out. She
was back and forth to the pear tree continuously wondering and thinking. Finally out of Nanny’s talk and her own conjectures she made a
sort of comfort for herself. Yes, she would love Logan after they were
married. She could see no way for it to come about, but Nanny and the
old folks had said it, so it must be so. Husbands and wives always
loved each other, and that was what marriage meant.”

Hurston, Zora Neale, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006, pg 23.

Within the text Janie is internalizing the thought of marrying Logan, so with the help of Nanny’s talk to her she creates this thought of social expectation upon herself to justify in her mind her marriage. Janie thinks that love should be and is part of marriage as husband and wife, and the circumstance would not stop this idea of love even if it would be a delayed reaction from her marriage to him . Janie creates this social context on how the outside world would view them as married couple, to her and others they must be in love with each and thus she forces upon herself this idea no matter way they start she will learn to love him. Its within her social context of the idea of marriage and how she images it to be played. The reality she later faces bring her to a harsh realization that the within the social context of her marriage that she does not love Logan which later bring her to break this concept she used to justify her loveless relationship.

Mrs. Dalloway #1

“But often now this body she wore (she stopped to look at a Dutch picture), this body, with all its capacities, seemed nothing — nothing at all. She had the oddest sense of being herself invisible; unseen; unknown; there being no more marrying, no more having of children now, but only this astonishing and rather solemn progress with the rest of them, up Bond Street, this being Mrs. Dalloway; not even Clarissa any more; this being Mrs. Richard Dalloway” (Woolf 35).

Mrs. Dalloway as a character reminds me a bit of Miss Brill, from the short story “Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield (though without the self-delusion). She seems to lose herself to her thoughts, both those of the past and the present, and suggests that she finds diversity and vitality in her life by walking about and observing people.

 

Woolf, Virginia. Everyman’s Library. Alfred A. Knopf, 1993.

eISBN: 978-0-307-55807-7