“Women forget all those things they don’t want to remember and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly” (Hurston).
In the light of this context, it is to be noted that idea of “dream” has rendered a different paradigm to this novel as Janie ventures on to dream an ideal life and love. It is her dream and desire to find a true love and liberty that becomes the guiding motivation of her quest. Janie’s community perceives love and marriage as an important segment of a woman’s life that completes her role as a woman. It need not necessarily have an emotional attachment. Women must not harbor ambition. It could prove fatal to her existence and to that of the community. She must survive on the simplest dream and fulfill the subservient roles to her husband. Her roles are confined to her domestic duties as she would run daily chores and look after the children.
Janie idea of love and marriage is first shaped by her grandmother, Nanny, who was an ex-slave and had raised Janie. In her youth, Nanny had dreamt of having a family of her own, but her dream did not materialize. Even her daughter Leafy was raped whose daughter was Janie. Nanny’s heaving disappointments and frustrations are voiced as looks upon Janie as the last hope who might marry a respectable man and settle a decent wife.
“Ah was born back due to slavery so it wasn’t for me to fulfill my dreams of whut a woman ought to be and to do. Dat’s one of de hold-backs of slavery. but nothing can’t stop you from wishing’ … Ah didn’t want to be used for a workbox … Ah even hated de way you was born. But, all de same Ah said thank God, Ah got another chance” (Hurston).