YMMV / Their Eyes Were Watching God

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Some readers view Janie as more of a Mary Sue than anything; The Unfair Sex has some discussion of this.
  • Angst? What Angst?: After Tea Cake dies, Janie gets over it pretty quickly. Although it can be interpreted as Janie realizing that she doesn't need a man to be happy or lead a fulfilling life.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The buzzards. Also an example of What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?
  • Designated Villain: Janie's first husband, Killicks, if you think about it. We're supposed to read him as cruelly trying to make Janie into a "mule," but when you get down to it he only wanted her to do as much work as he did.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: So the great love of Janie's life is dead, she is socially stigmatized by her community, she had surrendered just about everything she had to be with her love, and now she returns to the place she had started from.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Janie's first lover, Logan, has one of the whitest names in present day America.
  • Values Dissonance: Tea Cake beats Janie to "show possession" of her when he's jealous; this is presented in romantic terms. Complicated by the fact that she sometimes hits him for similar reasons. In both cases it's shown as romantic, as well as emphasising that they're equals.
  • Vindicated by History: Hurston died in obscurity, and for a period of time, all of her works were out-of-print. Now she is recognized as one of the most important and brilliant writers of the Harlem Renaissance.