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Their Eyes Were Watching God

Notes
Chapter 1:
Beginning of the Novel:

The novel starts with an epigrammatic statement, which


highlights a theme which is the search for dreams, this is done in
poetic language that creates a dreamy mood that suits the
purpose of the writer For example the metaphor of the ship
that carries the mens wishes aboard (Extended Metaphor).
More images are incorporated in the first paragraph such as the
person of time, which somehow reminds us of the mythological
representation of abstracts in Greek mythology, thus time is
given a supernatural quality and at the same time establishes
the writers own version of mythological quality.
The beginning also establishes gender differences while
concentrating on women and thus establishes the main
character that is the female heroin. This is unusual in the African
literature where focus was on male heroes.
The beginning creates mystery towards Janies character, and
this results from the reaction of the Porch-sitters when they saw
her, and their intrigue regarding what she has being doing
Third Person Omniscient, in order to see the events through
various characters perspectives. In addition to having collective
dialogue, as if they (Porch-sitters) were one unit that expose
threat towards Janies character, The porch couldnt talk for
looking Porch represents the Porch-sitters (Synec Doche)
Mouth all-mighty they pass judgment on other people believing
they have the capability of doing that based on appearances.
A glimpse of the main character is given early in the beginning of
the novel. She has experienced a journey, Come back from
burying the dead. Shes also represented as an object of
societys envy, as well as their gossip, which is indicated
through, seeing the woman that she was
Through the collective dialogue, the main character Janie is
presented through the eyes of the society (Porch-sitters). We are
told that she ran away with a younger man, and we are told that
he does not belong to her class. We are also told that she is
desirable through the description of her figure by men watchers,
the men noticed her buttocks On the other hand, women feel
jealous of Janie, therefore they store memories of what they
consider are her weakest moments, Shes overalls instead of
the blue satin dress in order to be used as a weapon against
her strength, and in order to bring her down to their level.

Language of the beginning is poetic and selective Establishes


the dreamy mood and the mythological
The book represents the African American society, two
generations after the emancipation of slaves The authority of
the white man (boss man) is still placed on the people, and his
authority was also associated to powerful natural elements such
as the sun, giving the overpowering quality to the white men,
which dehumanizes and emasculates the black men
The moments were the boss man and the sun left, they felt
powerful and human, they became lords of metaphors
indicates that they seek superiority through passing judgments
on more vulnerable people, to compensate their feeling of
inferiority.
The woman didnt pay attention to the Porch-sitters!
The sentences used her memory against her, shows that there is
a criticism towards society. Through the images we realize that
the society poses a threat towards Janie (Theyre described as
monsters) The images that represent the society are
threatening, since it represents the thoughts of the porch-sitters
as monsters, They chewed up the physical image as if they
are enjoying gossiping about Janie, as if they are enjoying the
eating of flesh They made burning statements with
questions A mood comes alive / mass cruelty threatening
images and mood are caused by the statements and judgments
of the porch-sitters
The book begins at the end of things, Janie burying the dead
The framework of the novel (structure) and the main conflict
were conveyed Flashback beginning
We are introduced in the beginning to Janies confidante Phoebe
she externalizes the main characters thoughts and feelings
Janie trusts Phoebe, since Phoebe criticizes the porch-sitters with
Janie (Page 7 and 8) Yeah Sam say most of em here in
overhalls
Mouth all-Mighty (Page 7) Synec Doche
Janie and Tea Cake were of different classes (Different level of
wealth) in addition to the fact that he was much younger than
Janie (The society speculated that he was going to run away with
a younger women than her)
Phoebe is a worthy confidante since she defended Janie after the
gossips of the porch-sitters Few years of their age Janie
was involved with a younger man, which gave her a younger
look, Janie also looks younger than her age She criticizes the
contradicting religious behavior of the society Praying to God at
night

The end of Chapter 1 establishes the narrative technique of story


telling, by having Janie telling her story to Phoebe, as the
readers are prepared to go into a flashback into the past in
Janies memories, however the situation itself having Janie sitting
with Phoebe, telling her a story, reminds us of the oral tradition
of narration (story telling) story telling was one of the most
common ways of transmitting ethics Since the African
Americans were illiterate, they didnt write the events, therefore
they relied more on story telling!!
The writer is trying to establish literary heritage for African
Americans African Americans were stripped of their base
culture and origin as they were taken by America, hence they
were trying to create their own culture and identity, such as the
case of the writer She placed the characters of the story in
situations of people from her past culture The writer is trying
to create a new culture for the African Americans, as she was
criticized by critics regarding her unorthodox use of the
characters in that time. Since usually at that time, the works had
to be protesting the situation of slavery with bitterness, and she
was criticized that she made the African Americans life easy with
no major issues. The writer represented the society as pseudoprimitive that is humorous for white people, as if it was a
laughing stock for white people Black people were not
depicted as victims in this novel.
Janie was the hero that was the investment of folk tradition of
black people, as the character was on a quest for her own
identity, which will end up positively, as she was successful in
seeking her ambitions This takes her back to her origins
The book affirms the black culture to empower BLACK
WOMEN!!!!!
Each starting line of each chapter of the novel sets the mood of
the chapter and adds a glimpse towards the upcoming events.
The author establishes the narrative in the starting lines of each
chapter.

Chapter 2:

The starting line of the chapter starts off with the narrative
technique (Metaphor) of comparing Janie to a pear tree, to which
Janie describes her development in life and the phases of her life.
In addition to the sexual development through the life cycle of
the tree.
Confused identity they used to call her alphabet
preparation for the theme of searching for identity Janie is a
molato! It was assumed that her father raped her mother
Relation between puberty of Janie to the pear tree (page 14)
3

We always
have to
link our
knowledg
e to our
interpreta
tion and
analysis
of certain
events of
the novel

We
always
have to
make
predictio
ns
regarding
upcoming
events, to
witness
the
similaritie
s
between
our
predictio
n and

After the grandmother has seen Janie kissing the boy (page 17)
she asks her to get married, since she doesnt want to her to
pass through the phase that her mother faced when she
allegedly got raped by a white man / The family doesnt afford to
get pregnant and have a new child in the family
I dont want any trashy n***** (page 17)
Grandmother: We feel sympathy for the Grandmother since:
1) Background: Shes an ex-slave:
Shes more protective (Moved out of the Washburns to
establish an identity for Janie)
She also inhibited Janie from making her own decisions
and experience life
She had financial trouble She desired financial security
for Janie
She has low self-worth Shes dependent on others for
life
Shes scared of life
Shes dehumanized / humiliated / emasculated (men)
The women is the mule of the world (Page 19) The mule
represents labor and a animal that is led by others, its an
appropriate analogy as black women are in a lower social
class than black men, hence the humiliation of the black
men leads their anger to be released on the black women,
and for them to become subservient White man throws
the load.
2) Relationship between Janie & her grandmother The
only way she can make sure that Janie is not humiliated is
by making sure Janie is not taken advantage of by other
men

Janies independence is threatened as she cant live her teenage


years due to her grandmothers overprotectiveness
Please dont make my burden too heavy for me the
grandmother is scared for Janie and doesnt want her to
experience the situations that the grandmother faced
Marriage is presented as a sense of security and stability for the
black women The grandmother wants Janie to get married to a
black man of a high social class I wanted you to pick from a
higher bush and a sweeter berry.
First Stage in Janies Journey:
1) Marrying Logan Killicks
Janie
16 Years Old
Beautiful

Logan
50 60 Years Old
Not Good Looking
4

Not Financially Secured


Passionate
Dreamy Ambitions

Financially Secured (60 Acres)


Emotionally Deprived
Down to Earth

As if Janie is now a slave to a black man, and cannot achieve


her dreamy ambitions Shes a mule for Logan
Janie doesnt feel love for Logan, and when she complains to
her grandmother, her grandmother pacifies her to prevent her
from preventing the marriage The vision of Logan Killicks
was desecrating the pear tree (Page 18)
The author wants the black society to get out of the slave
mentality You dont want to be the representation of bad
experience that occurred in the past You have to break free
from the past experiences and have your individuality and
identity
Janie doesnt want to be married to Logan, yet her
grandmother wants her to be grateful, If you dont want
himgive em away (Page 31) A black women at that time
wasnt capable of marrying a women whos financially stable
Grandmother doesnt want her to pass through the same
experience that Janies mother passed through, She was only
seventeen a cracked plate (Page 26-27) The guilt trip
continues from the grandmother using faulty reason to
compel her
Janie got married to Logan knowing that she doesnt love him,
and that marriage didnt represent love

Chapter 3:

There is a basin in the mind where words float around by


thought, (Page 33):
The writer describes the brain as a part that contains reason,
and a part that forces us to take actions based on emotions
Janie is driven by emotions, since her emotions are more
developed than her grandmothers emotions Janie is
independent
The writer uses a lot of imagery, which causes the novel to
become dreamy and places the reader in a metaphysical state,
which causes us to think in a more sophisticated manner that is
deeper
The use of dialect causes the readers to understand the
environment of the events, and become closer to the characters
of the novel
She knew thing that nobody had ever told her (Page 33)
Janie is presented as a natural human being whos in touch with

nature, she wanted her tree to bloom She was waiting for the
gate for a way out of the situation shes living in
She knew the world was a stallion (Page 33) Metaphorical
representation of freedom The stallion (male horse) represents
Janie waiting for her knight to save her from the situation shes
currently in Aether is the pure upper air that Greek Gods
breathed
God tore down the old world by sun-up (Page 33) She has
hope that the situation will get fixed The author creates her
own mythological depiction of events contradicting to the typical
religions it was a basic need for the author to create his own
mythological world to depict the ongoing events Its not
necessary to give up dreams to become an adult
She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janies first
dream was dead, so she became a woman. (Page 34) Its a
combination of positive and negative statement, when dreams
are dead you become more realistic and mature, however it also
means that she became down to earth and she stops dreaming
for the character that she set up for herself in the future.

Chapter 4:

Logan stopped being romantic with Janie, and started to use her
for manual labor
Janie is outspoken since shes young, yet she stands up for
herself and defends herself regarding her husbands orders
Just as stiff first chip (Page 35)
Logan is planning on buying a mule for Janie to start working with
him in farming, manual labor
Jodie held an attitude of a white man Like Mr. Washburn
The entrance of Jodie to Janies life was the reemergence of her
love life
Janie starts flirting with Jodie Water pumping
Joe Sparks is Ambitious Controlling Classy Hardworking
The writer employs different narrative perspectives to tell the
story of Janie, the dominant perspective is the third person
omniscient, which tells the story from an external point of view.
We can feel the writer behind the story, with her comments on
Janies progress, or for example when she comments on the
ships that carry mans wish on board. Another type of narrative
perspective is free indirect speech, through which the writer
brings us into the head of the characters, as a result we are to
experience thoughts and feelings without the intervention of the
narrator, in this case, we can pick up the tone and the kind of
language the character would use, such as in the case of Joe

starks in chapter 4 introducing himself to Janie, or for example


the questions the porch-sitters were asking themselves about
Janie in chapter 1, in these two cases we get to know the tone
and language used beyond the dialogue
Issues started to emerge between Logan and Janie!!!! You
behind a plow special for you (Page 39)
Love developed between Janie and Joe Emotional connection
Unlike Logan, Joe will not force Janie to work in labor Baby
doll
Janie will only be an item that Joe uses for decoration and
attraction Just like white southern women
Janie didnt respond with love to Joe she admired him as he
aided her in the journey to her dream she didnt open up to
him he didnt represent sun-up and pollen and blooming trees
(Page 39)
Janie confronts Joe (Page 40)
Janie made her change for her, not for Joe, Janie hurried out
(Page 43)
The apron represents imprisonment, as Janie was free after she
removed (Page 43)
Foreshadowing that Joe will have a high position in society, It sat
like some high, ruling chair (Page 44)
Blooming of the pear tree Didnt bloom for Logan nor Joe

Chapter 5:

As soon as Joe reaches the town he demands to become the


mayor of the town
Janie slowly becomes a material that Joe shows off to the society
He didnt was anyone else to rank with her (Page 54)
Joe wants to rank himself over the people of the town, through
ranking Janie above the women
Joe kept buying lands as soon as he entered the town He built
a store in the town which granted him a lot of money
Joe started gaining attention of people and gaining connections
Hes running for mayor
Joe keeps believing that hes superior and a god-like figure He
gained his position swiftly, showing his great ambition
Joe stopped Janie from stating her speech Janie made her
faceTook the bloom off of thingsInvested with his new
dignityof her thoughts. (Page 58) Joe was full of himself
with pride and dignity, yet Janie felt left out and shadowed by her
husband, denying her the right to state the speech, which
annoyed her

But the whole townof the occasion (Page 59) Joe wants to
showcase all his actions and all that towns, hence he wants
people to talk about him, thus he also showcases Janie as his
wife
Joe started using the people of town as slaves, ironic to the
situation black society were experiencing (emancipation of
slavery) There was something about more tangible (Page
62)
Despite the fact that Eatonville as the first all black people town,
was supposed to establish equality among black people, a thing
they didnt find in the whit mans world, class stratification
started among themselves when Jody Starks classes himself off
from the rest of the society, by surrounding himself with fanciful
things, such as a house, that was different from everybody elses
in the town, a store, which became the center of trade and social
life, and a beautiful wife, who was half white whom he wanted to
look and act like a southern bell.
The author used spittoon which was a white mans habit, that
Joe also copies in addition to the fancy pot he bought for spittoon
Mayor Post Master Landlord Store Keeper (Page 63)
Exaggeration of his position in society
He bought the swing-around chair as it was a symbol beaucracy,
and his authority over the people of town
People feel that Joe is using them, as he was the boss man who
created social classes in the people of the town. Like things
were kept from them (Page 64) Free Indirect Speech /
Disclosure
One of you color youd rather not (Page 64)
Any man who walks in the way of power and property is bound
to meet hate (Page 64)
Its a sin and uh shame do he want? (Page 65)
Questioning the methods of Joe Starks (Capitalism) Firing and
hiring people in jobs The black man is cruel over people of his
own race.
The black people experienced slavery for such a long time, that
they couldnt perform actions that can develop their town and
progress and improve
Ah know dat toosound of his voice (Page 65) Joe is using
the people and abused his power However, the people of the
society took advantage of Joe, due to his personality
Speakin of windsseat of his pants. (Page 66) The
controlling nature of Joe was built deep within him
The town had a basketfultown bowed down. (Page 67)

Chapter 6:

Every morning the world flung itself over and exposed the town
to the sun (Page 68) This chapter is going to have revelations
regarding the relationship between Janie and Joe
Joe forced Janie to work in the store Just like Killicks
Passed around the pictures (Page 68) Metaphor of passing
your picture to others through the stories that are being told
As if describing the stories is like drawing paintings that are
passed between each other
Matt Bonners abusing his mule An image of abuse
People kept gossiping about Bonner and his mule Bonner
starts to get angry and starts stammering
He didnt want her talking after such trashy peopletoes uh
Time (Page 71) Theyre wasting their time with the mule talk
Joe wanted to class her off from the society, as he classed her
off from his own people
The figurative image used by the author shows the state of mind
of Janie, yet Joe has forbidden her from painting her side of the
canvas.
Janie didnt enjoy working in the store, since she wasnt good in
math, she felt it was a waste of time (she wanted to socialize and
learn about people and express her thoughts), and she didnt
understand peoples handwriting
Joe is becoming just like Logan, yet he has more authority than
Logan
Joe is jealous He forced Janie to tie her hair Her hair was
attractive and different than the people of the town since she is
half white
Joe demonstrates her love indirectly for Janie through buying
Bonners mule Janie felt sorry for the mule since it was too old
and poor
The society is developing into a hateful one Hatred,
Negativity, Jealousy, Harshness, Heartlessness This resulted
from the abuse they experienced for a long time from slavery
The feeling of inferiority is returning, thus they felt empowered
through abusing people
Somebody gotchicken and cows (Page 95) Women in the
same class as chickens and cows as they cant think for
themselves

He wanted her submissionhe felt he had it (Page 95)


The spirit of the marriage left the bedroom (Page 95) their
marriage was just for appearance and wasnt true love like
before their marriage was empty, shallow, and spiritless
The pear tree represents that she lost all feelings to Joe She
wasnt petal-open anymore (Page 96)
Never was the flesh and blood figure of her dreamsused to
be (Page 96) The perception of Janie through figurative
imagery regarding Joe and how her viewpoint changed
Joe was not a representation of her dreams, he only draped over
her dream, and was not the realistic representation of her dream
Dusting pollen over her man (Page 96) Description of the
pear tree in comparison to Janies love life and interweaving
emotions
Janie is poetic, imaginative, dreamy, and rebellious
Sometimes God gitswomen and chickens (Page 100-101)
This statement is articulate The fact that men are different
than women, it doesnt mean that theyre smarter than women
Men dont understand anything about women Its easy to
place your position as God Almighty if you look down on people
that are weaker

Chapter 7:

Janie gave up to Jodie Starks through her face All the fight out
ofsoul (Page 102)
Plenty of life beneath the surface but it was kept beaten down
by the wheels (Page 102) Janies spirit wasnt destroyed
completely, however she wanted to tone down the tension
between her and Jodie
She was giving away what she didnt value (Page 102) Janie
didnt value materialistic objects
She convinced herself that Jodie does love her, and she feels
something for him
Heaven boiled down to a drop (Page 103) This marriage
brought all the world to a single drop, hence she was frustrated
All things became the same for Janie Perfume like urine (Page
103)
The downfall of Jodie was presented through his aging process
One dayabsent too (Page 103)
Had been fearing for her to see (Page 104) Jodie was afraid
of his physical appearance
Jodie started distracting Janie from his physical appearance
through describing her age and how she grew old You aint
noof its skull (Page 104)
10

Janie developed a way to understand Jodies words before he


stated
Jodie started insulting Janie in public, and kept mentioning her
old age A woman stay to yo knees! (Page 105) He
wants Janie to drop down to his level in physical appearance
It was like somebody crowded (Page 105)
Janie confronted Jodie Now ah aint no young gal change uh
life (Page 106) She insulted Jodie and dropped him from his
illusion of irresistible manliness Janie had robbedkeep on
laughing (Page 107)
Jodie struck her hard after she insulted him. DAYUMMMM!!!!

Chapter 8:

Why must Joe be so mad with her for making him look small,
when he did it to her all the time (Page 108)
It aint always pleasant hand and mean (Page 109-110)
He suspected that Janie was poisoning him
Jodie was desperate that he went to root-doctors (Page 109)
He wants to look younger to impress Janie He doesnt want her
too look down on him due to his physical appearance
Jodie failed to tell Janie the truth in a nice manner
Detoriation of Jodies situation, as well as the hypocracy of the
townspeople People came for hisself They enjoyed the
power they gained from being spies over Janie from Jodies
demand
Personification (Greek Mythology) Death that strangeany
day now (Page 112)
Personification Rumor that wingless bird that shadowed over
the town Wingless since it moves through word of mouth
You was so busy worshipin could have (Page 115)
Youse whats leftyours in me (Page 115) Metaphor, she
needed to squeeze Jodie into her mind to find room
Jodie prefers to die rather than admitting that Janie was right
Image of young girl in the mirror (Page 116 - 117) Looking at
the mirror Janie saw her younger self, as she saw her
She ironed her face (Page 117) She forced herself to look sad
over the death of his husband
Janies hair represents her femininity!

Chapter 9:

Finish. EndWailing Outside (Page 118-119) A new phase of


Janies life, her spirit was not in the funeral

11

Janie blamed her Nanny for not reaching the horizon (Page 120)
Her grandmother left her only with scraps, and brought her
hopes and dreams under the cloak of pity Pinched it in to to
choke her (Page 120) whipped like a curl dog
Janie saw the opportunity behind everything
Three main words: Journey Horizon People
Horizon represents the hope
Journey represents finding identity and trying to reach the
horizon
It was important to allname of love (Page 120)
Throughout her relationship with Jodie, her spirit was only
pacified, not broken down. Thus with the death of Starks, the girl
in the mirror was free to accomplish her life long dream

Chapter 10:

Janie was enjoying her newly found freedom


The chapter starts with a narrative statement, as to show
sequence of the chronological events.
The first time Janie and Tea Cake met was light hearted, thus
seeming to be flirtatious.
Janie fell for Tea Cake as he didnt undermine her, and was
courteous, while Jodie classed her off and didnt allow her to
have some freedom in her decisions.
Janie Tea Cake treated each other as if theyve known each other
for a long time, thus showing that its in fact true love, since Tea
Cake didnt care about the money
Janie withdrew some of her emotions since she feared that
people would interfere, and start making up rumors about it.
Imagery of glimmering and light was associated with this
relationship
Quenching the thirst of the day (Page 133)

Chapter 11:

Hesitation of peoples judgments was faced by Janie Tea Cake


was too young for her She didnt want to fully open up to Tea
Cake (Page 134 First Paragraph)
They played but Tea Cake (Page 136) Tea Cake fell of
nothing (Page 136) It was so crazy from the town (Page
137) The young girl inside Janie came out (The girl in the
mirror)
The difference in age is one of Janies insecurities At the
newel post (Page 140) She even ridiculed the association
(Page 140)

12

She couldnt hide her affection for Tea Cake, as he blossomed her
tree. He looks glance from God (Page 142)
When God show her shine (Page 120-121) She adopted
this idea of humans to her emotional state of mind searching for
love to complete her quest
She found the creature she was looking for He was a glance
from God (Page 142)
Janie doesnt feel completely confident with her relationship with
Tea Cake (Page 144) In the cool Doubt She plunged
never been
Tea Cake is associated with light, so she drops to a status where
she doesnt glow when hes not around, thus Tea Cake makes
Janie glow

Chapter 12:

It was got mad Free indirect discourse Showed the


tension created by societys rumors, regarding their relationship
Tea Cake playing checkers (Page 147)
Since people feel that Janie chose an inappropriate partner, they
supposedly have the right to talk about them.
Janie was closed off before, yet she chose a person of a lower
social class Before the death of Jodie, it was his decision to
class her off from society
Janie didnt allow the society to affect her decision, so she
decided to leave town As is uh love live mine (Page 152)
Janie describing her grandmothers perspective, which was the
fact that what the white man did was the right thing, as the black
society at that time needed a role model She was borned
news yet.

Chapter 13:

Janie decided to leave to Jacksonville


It was hard feel so wishful (Page 155) People were jealous
that she didnt choose them
Janie is still unconfident and fears that Tea Cake will leave her
with her money
Mrs. Tyler was an older woman who spent her money on
materialistic things, thus Janie feared that she will wind up like
her
What Tea Cake actually did with Janies money (Page 161 163)

Chapter 14:
13

Repetition of wild since she is a free spirit who appreciates


taking risks and the wilderness
The relationship between Tea Cake and Janie is supportive, since
both of them want to develop each other and want each other to
grow
Both the Indians and Blacks live together in the Everglades, as
they share theyre experience of oppression by the white man
Sentence structure is short in order to create a happy and
excited mood Dancing, fighting, singingskin like ants (Page
176)
Contrast between Tea Cake and Jodie Starks Tea Cake used to
sit in the doorway the same way Jodie used to sit at the porch,
yet Tea Cake is more fun to be with, and people like to stay with
him, while Jodie was more arrogant, and prevented Janie from
sitting with him, while people didnt like sitting with him.
Repetitiveness creates monotony baked beans (Page 177) yet
that was not the case in this example, since repetitiveness
created satisfaction, as Tea Cake didnt mind eating baked beans
numerous times every week.

Chapter 16:

But Mrs. Turner aside from Negroes (Page 187)


Racism started to spread between the black community itself, as
they feel that they were undermined for a long time that caused
dehumanization, therefore they feel inferior, and start looking up
to the superior, therefore mimicking the same actions that they
committed.
Page 193-194 Mrs. Turner was trying to influence Janie into
becoming a racist. She was making fun of
Mrs. Turner believes that Gods are entitled and have the right to
be cruel towards their people, which is mythological, since in
Greek mythology they were wrathful and cruel, thus sacrifices
were made for them, unlike current religions with a merciful God.
All gods dispense suffering without reason
All of this is not religion, and its mainly a manner to understand
Mrs. Turner, with this analogy, Mrs. Turner is shown to idolize the
white race. In a psychological manner, slaves were:
1) Taken from their homeland, and stripping them from their
identity
2) Being tortured constantly causing them to become afraid of
pain and being treated like animals
3) Being denied basic human rights
4) Being only exposed to the white man as a figure to look up to

14

Janie and Mrs. Turner werent slaves, yet were raised by parents
who have the same mindset of slaves and the same ideology
(Janies hatred towards her grandmother)
After emancipation, the blacks still worked under the authority of
the white man Thus their goals in life is to become similar to
the white man
A lot of imagery was used in this chapter, in addition to specific
diction, which is related to the major metaphor of comparing a
superior figure or a boss to a God or a Goddess Real Gods
require blood Janie was considered as a God, as Mrs. Turner
made a sacrifice for Janie, through clinging to Janie and trying to
impress her and get close to her, in addition to sacrificing her
dignity, since Janie was trying to avoid her most of the time
Compared to real life, people sometimes sacrifice their dignity in
order to fit in with a certain group of people

Chapter 17:

Tea Cake feels insecure about losing Janie, hence he slapped her
in order to reassure possession over her

Chapter 18:

The HURRICANE CHAPTER! (Natural disaster which cant be


controlled, that leads to change)
In the beginning of the chapter, a hurricane was predicted by the
Indians, however some people stayed, and didnt believe them,
due to the clear blue sky and the normal weather Faulty logic
Im making 8 Dollars a day, theres nothing better than this
hence a hurricane cannot occur Fallacy
The faulty logic was caused by Tea Cake being happy
The vocabulary used foreshadowed future events, due to
establishing an eerie setting Morning came without motion
bush watching man Tension is being built up with the
creeping of dead day
Indians are being linked to natural elements and nature itself,
due to their connection to it
The repetition of the word watching throughout the chapter,
and developing from watching to questioning God, due to the
tragic events that are occurring to them
The dog was shown as a supernatural power that was sent by
faith to change and manipulate peoples lives
Tea Cake was bit by a rabid dog, and slowly Janie starts
witnessing the difference in Tea Cake and in his attitude
Imagery was successful in depicting despair and suffering, The
wheel kept turning and turning (Page 221) The wheel
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spinning represent loss of hope and the end of life (Greek


Mythology)
Abstracts: Havoc Time Death Sun Rumor

Chapter 19:
Climax chapter Death of Tea Cake with the progression of his
illness
Square Toes Represents Death

Sympathy is felt for Janie due to the loss of the man she waited

for her entire life


Page 227 The writer foreshadows the eminent death of Tea
Cake later on with the description of the dead bodies as the
aftermath of the hurricane.
Page 233-234 Development of Tea Cakes disease Demon
regarding the disease
Page 237-238 Janie was deprived of the person that made her
happy, thus she started asking questions about God, addressing
him as he
Page 246 Anticlimax, as were presented with the day she was
forced to kill Tea Cake, and then the court next day was shown
No process showing the killing of Tea Cake The pistol and the
rifleTea Cake and Janie Anticlimax: Approaching the climax
then suddenly jumping to the ending
In court, the black men were judgmental regarding Janie
Linked to the beginning of the book with the judgment of people
about Janie in her overalls The court is judging her for an
action she was forced to do Same imagery that was employed
in the beginning of the book when the writer stated that the bad
words and judgments they used were weapons for killing
Janie was not completely devastated by Tea Cakes death, as she
gained experience from her journey through marriages and
various events in life. This experience was shared by Janie, to
teach others (such as Phoebe) lessons she learned throughout
her life.
Janie mentions that these two things can only be taught if you
experience them:
1) Knowing God
2) Living for yourself
Important imagery towards the end of the novel (Page 259)
Pulling the horizon with a fish-net, and draped her around her
shoulders. Janie was satisfied, and achieved her dream. Unlike

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the people in the beginning of the novel, who wait for the
horizon, and stay still, without achieving their dreams
She called in her soul to come and see Janie is satisfied with
what she achieved, hence she called out her soul to see what
she has reached in her life
Tea Cake was the sun of her life, hence he brought warmth to her
life, in addition to bringing enlightenment and knowledge
Tea Cake was not dead, since he kept on living in her mind.
The judge doesnt allow her to speak in court, though shes
articulate and is fluent in speaking But the writer used the
reported speech that didnt allow Janie to speak, since it was
third person omniscient Read the introduction in the beginning
of the novel to see different interpretations
The fact that the novel ends with the absence of Janies voice,
could show that the writer is intending to make Janies voice a
communal one, that when she tells Phoebe to tell her story In
Chapter 20, she chooses a collective rather than an individual
voice, demonstrating her closeness to the collective spirit of the
African American oral tradition

- Janie was capable of reaching her two main goals in life, she
was looking for a place where she will immerse her roots, and
be loved by people. She found this place in the Everglades. In
addition, she found the love of her life.
- Two supernatural elements were present:
1) Hurricane
2) Dog
Both elements represented fate and destiny, as it tested
Janies courage and patience, as the first test was in dealing
with Tea Cake with the progression of his illness, the second
test was when she had to kill Tea Cake. The third test was in
surviving life after the death of Tea Cake
- Another supernatural element was in the Greek mythology
refrences:
Sun was represented as a human being that walks on the sky
and leaves his footprints (Apollo)
Death was represented as square toes
Rumors was represented as a monster
Tea Cake was always represented as a light and holy figure
(spirit of God). Like a creature crushing the scent/ He is a
glance of God

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- In the cool of the afternoonat Janies ear (Page 144)

Choose one of the following questions to write a


response of no less than 500 words:

1. Throughout Janie's life, she searches for true,


unconditional love. In her search, she experiences different
kinds of love. Describe the types of love she experiences.
Which type of love has the most impact on her life? In the
end, has Janie experienced true love, and, if so, has it
changed her?
2. What role does Mrs. Turner play in the novel? Does
Hurston use the character to make a universal statement
about bigotry (intolerance, racism, narrow-mindedness)?
3. The pear trees, bees, and the horizon occur in several
instances in Their Eyes Were Watching God. Discuss the
significance of these symbols and metaphors in the novel.
4. What is the role of the porch sitters in Their Eyes Were
Watching God? How do they contribute to the novel?
5. What is the significance of the title Their Eyes Were
Watching God to the novel? Why would Hurston have chosen
it?

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