Certainly her creator, Zora Neale Hurston, staked a claim on her ambitions. "Oh, if you knew my dreams! my vaulting ambition!" she wrote to her patron, Annie Nathan Meyer.
Barnes & Noble Georgetown hosted a discussion of THEIR EYES... with WPFW radio personality Keanna Faircloth. A small group of 5 met by the photography books -- all readers of the book including a visitor from Connecticut passing time before a younger relative escorted him to make a wedding date (don't worry, it wasn't the groom).
Janie was the topic of much of the dialogue.
What were her four loves? What made her special in her community? Was it just about the hair, skin tone, and a pleasant disposition? Was finding true love her lofty ambition? Or was living by her own rules her life's dream despite the judgements of her grandmother, her spouses, her neighbors?
Her creator, Zora Neale Hurston continues in her letter to her patron:
Prometheus on his rock with his liver being continually consumed as fast as he grows another, is nothing to my dreams. I dream such wonderfully complete ones, so radiant in astral beauty. I have not the power yet to make them come true. They always die. But even as they fade, I have others.