Have you ever wondered that maybe people are the way they are not because they choose to be, but because the events in their lives forced them to be? I never really thought about that until I came across this line in the book that we are reading in English.
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie lives with her stubborn and overprotective grandmother. Her grandmother is always trying to twist Janie’s views on love, turning love into stability and material goods. She is so opposed to the idea of going off and finding love that she wants to force Janie into an arranged marriage. Because of this, I hated Janie’s grandmother. I saw her as a selfish person, not caring at all for her abandoned granddaughter; she had no right in trying to take away Janie’s dreams and ruin her happiness.
My aversion towards Nanny continued until I came across this quote from her:
When I read it, it ignited a new perspective within me. I stopped for a second and thought about Janie’s grandmother from her viewpoint. I realized that Nanny wasn’t a selfish person like I first thought, but a broken person trying to protect her granddaughter from the things that hurt her and her own daughter.
We see an introvert shutting himself out from the world, and we ask ourselves why that person is a coward in society. We see an obstinate and bossy girl and wonder who made her queen. We ceaselessly ask and judge and wonder about why people act a certain way; however, these answers are not for us to hear. What a person goes through inside that changes their outside is knowledge for them to know and for us to listen to if trust allows us to hear. But we just can’t accept that! Society is so meddlesome that it is not satisfied in simply respecting and accepting people for who they are: it has to have an answer. And because it can’t get one, it just makes up its own answers, unjustly labeling people without understanding what they are going through.
We need to learn that people are like plates. Plates are fragile, and over the years they can start to wear out, chip, and crack. If we aren’t careful and gentle when handling cracked plates, they will break.
— Nicole, 1.28.18