Pear Tree and Hurricane Symbol
The Pear Tree symbolizes nature and its relation to Janie's perception of nature and natural objects in her surroundings. When she comes across bees collecting nectar from the pear tree flowers, it makes her think about the powerful bliss of nature. Likewise, this sight fills her with immense joy and she cannot help but marvel at the harmony developed between the natural objects. It also refers to the joy she experienced when she received her first kiss of love in her teenage. For instance, in the novel, this scene is described as, “Oh to be a pear tree – any tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the beginning of the world!” (Hurston 43). Likewise, it takes many decades for a tree to grow tall and it survives the test of time by standing tall for many more years. In the autumn season, the trees shed their yellow leaves and in the spring season, new leaves grow again. This natural process aligns with human life and the process of facing hardships to attain bliss. The pear tree also serves as a reminder of her independence from her loveless second marriage and how she starts blossoming the same way as the tree when she marries her third husband.
The Hurricane is used as a symbol to signify chaos and turmoil in the world which disrupts the peaceful lives of Janie and other characters. Unlike the pear tree, the hurricane does not symbolize peace and bliss since it shows the wrath of nature. It destroys everything that comes in its way and is unstoppable. Similarly, in the novel, Janie, along with other characters, feels helpless in times of misfortune and suffering. The author describes the hurricane as, "The wind came back with triple fury and put out the light for the last time. They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God” (Hurston 39). Moreover, when nature shows its might through hurricanes or thunderstorms, it makes men realize the presence of God in their lives. Since people turn to their lord in times of adversity and chaos, they cannot be misguided in real life.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their eyes were watching God. University of Illinois Press, 1991.
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