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Courage In the Face of Adversity

In most of the world's greatest literature, there have been introduced countless courageous characters and triumphant victories. These characters have the power to father strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. Such characters as Janie from Their Eyes Were Watching God, Gatsby from The Great Gatsby, June from The Joy Luck Club, and Edna from The Awakening. Throughout each of these magnificent stories comes an example of bravery and courage. Although in some cases, the characters may not generally be perceived by the public to be courageous at all, they demonstrate extreme strength in overcoming adversity. In Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, the character of Janie is a prime example of overcoming adversity. She is faced with racism early in life, and then forced to marry at a young age. In her lifelong search for true love, Janie goes through three marriages, several moves, and an incredible journey of self-discovery. On Janie's quest for unconditional, true, and fulfilling love, she gains her own interdependence and personal freedom, which makes her a true heroine in this novel. Because Janie strives for her own independence, others tend to judge her simply because she is daring enough to achieve her own autonomy. "Ah wants things sweet wed mah marriage lak when you sit under a pear tree and think. Ah" (Eyes 23) Throughout the novel, she searches for the love that she has always desired, one that is represented to her early in life by the marriage between a bee and a blossom on the pear tree that stood in her grandmother's backyard. "She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came over her. She saw the dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree ...

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