In Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, many examples of symbolism pertaining to Janie’s long journey to self realization can be found. Some examples may be easier found than others. One exam in particular that I found to be the simplest and the most obvious was Hurston’s references to womanhood through the pear tree and horizon, the hurricane, and the porch.
In chapter two, Janie begins telling her story to Pheoby. As Janie goes on, she explains how she would spend her time under a blossoming pear tree in her back yard. “That was to say, ever since the first tiny bloom had opened.” (Hurston 10) The blossoming of the pear tree signifies Janie’s coming of age and how her mindset would soon change. Janie was no longer a young girl anymore. She was beginning to notice things she didn’t notice before. Boys. Page eleven in the book shows just how she was beginning to “blossom” into a young lady, just like the pear tree. At the front gate of her grandma’s house, she was waiting. Waiting for something to happen. “Through the pollinated air, she saw a glorious being coming up the road.” At that time, she was just beginning to look at Johnny Taylor in a different light. Instead of him just being tall and lanky anymore, she viewed him to be something quite like a god.
Further in Their Eyes Were Watching God, it mentions how Janie would just sit on the porch and gaze out into the horizon. In the beginning of chapter 20, Janie has just settled back in Eatonville and just finished telling her story to Pheoby. “Ah done been to the horizon and back and now Ah kin set heah in mah house and live by comparisons.” (191) In the story, Janie’s main goal was to find herself; she wanted to find her purpose. The horizon symbolized her future. The horizon symbolized what she wanted. “Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net.” (193) In the end, she achieved that. She felt as if she had accomplished everything she wanted to accomplish. She was…