Logan Killicks: A Study of an Overlooked Character in Zora Neale Hurston's 'Their Eyes Were Watching God'

Topics: Society

Zora Neale Hurston’s celebrated novel ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’ takes us on a remarkable journey through the life of Janie Crawford, a Black woman seeking love and self-discovery in the early 20th century. While characters like Janie herself and her third husband, Tea Cake, often take the limelight in discussions about the novel, Janie’s first husband, Logan Killicks, deserves a closer look. Although Logan’s time in the narrative is brief, his character is essential in propelling Janie on her journey of self-discovery and provides a commentary on marriage, gender roles, and societal expectations in the rural South.

Logan Killicks is introduced as a middle-aged, wealthy farmer who marries the young and beautiful Janie under the direction of Janie’s grandmother, Nanny. Nanny believes that by marrying Logan, Janie will secure a safe and financially stable future – a life far removed from the trials and tribulations Nanny herself had faced. However, this marital union, primarily driven by economic motivations rather than love, sets the stage for Janie’s disillusionment.

Logan represents the quintessential practical husband, chosen for economic and social security rather than romantic affection. His character showcases how women, especially black women, were often forced into loveless marriages for survival. Hurston uses Logan to critique the prevalent societal norm that saw marriage as a means to economic security rather than a union of love and mutual respect.

As a husband, Logan Killicks embodies traditional masculine roles and expectations of the era. He expects Janie to help with heavy farm chores, highlighting the rigid gender roles where women were expected to shoulder both domestic duties and laborious tasks.

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Logan’s insistence that Janie adapt to his idea of a wife reflects the lack of agency women had in their marriages and their roles as wives during that period.

Logan’s inability to provide the emotional and romantic connection Janie yearns for is a pivotal element in her journey. His disregard for her feelings and desires highlights the emotional void in their marriage. This lack of emotional connection sets Janie on her path to seek true love, leading her to leave Logan for the charismatic Joe Starks.

In retrospect, Logan Killicks might not be a likeable character due to his treatment of Janie. However, his role is crucial for the narrative’s development and the exploration of themes such as love, marriage, gender roles, and societal expectations. His marriage to Janie lays the groundwork for her quest for love and self-discovery.

Logan Killicks is a testament to Hurston’s ability to create complex, nuanced characters that serve a greater purpose in the narrative. Despite his limited presence, Logan leaves an indelible mark on the storyline, igniting Janie’s journey of self-exploration and challenging societal norms of marriage and gender roles. Through Logan, Hurston provides a critique of marriages void of love, underscoring the need for emotional fulfilment and mutual respect in any relationship.

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Logan Killicks: A Study of an Overlooked Character in Zora Neale Hurston's 'Their Eyes Were Watching God'. (2023, Jun 30). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/logan-killicks-a-study-of-an-overlooked-character-in-zora-neale-hurstons-their-eyes-were-watching-god/

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