Comparing Symbolical Language in Their Eyes Were Watching God and Great Gatsby

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Symbolical Language in Their Eyes Were Watching God and The Great Gatsby

In some novels, strong impressions are exploited to conceal other meanings. Unraveling these symbolic word puzzles may reveal insights into the author's perspective and one's own secrets. A careful analysis of selected passages of two books: Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and Francis Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, will show that symbolical language can reveal even more insight. In this comparison, symbolism in the passages containing variations of the words "blossom" or "blooming" will be examined to reveal human development beyond sexuality and anatomy.

The protagonist, Janie, in Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, was
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"Then Janie felt a pain remorseless sweet that left her limp and languid" (11). The symbolical implications herald a "blooming" of Janie's anatomical development in pubescence, intellectual growth in powers of awareness, and an acknowledgment of her own individuality in separateness from others.

Janie now realizes her world has completely changed and that the life she lived prior to her very personal turning point had been merely a simple existence of a child. This realization, found in the climax of her discovery, invokes even more questions and searching in her discovery of self--questions about womanhood and her place in the world. "After a while she got up from where she was and went over the little garden field entire. She was seeking confirmation of the voice and vision, and everywhere she found and acknowledged answers" (11). Her new-found powers of observation and discovery had to be tested for reassurance immediately; and so she explored the nearest scientific mystery available--herself! "The little garden field entire" is symbolic of all the "ripe fruits" of her body waiting to be harvested by something akin to a gardener with the caring skills of husbandry. At this point the author changes into a narrative tone again to accentuate Janie's experience with laws of nature and discovery being translated into active journeys

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