Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Their Eyes Were Watching God


Use this post to share your reactions to the novel. Remember to focus on analysis, not plot summary. 

58 comments:

Ayesha said...

Quick summary or chapter 1: The main character Janie Starks is arriving in town and the women are envying her. They Gossip about her younger lover, Tea Cake, leaving her an taking her money. Janie's best friend Pheoby goes over to Janie's house and brings her hungry frien some food. Janie reveals to Pheoby that she returned because she is no longer happy living with Tea Cake.

Christen said...

yea Ayesha i remember when Janie told Pheoby that she returned because she was not happy. Also I remember how Janie laughed at the idea that the women thought she returne broke and alone.

Ron R. said...

That's a pretty good summary Ayesha, and yeah (to Christen) it is funny and a bit ironic how the gossipers thought the worst for Janie, yet she still has 900 dollars and is living a good life. We also see that Janie is not only seemingly superior than the gossipers, but she is also morally above the gossipers. She knows that they'll talk all they want but in the end, all they can do is convey their envy of Janie to one another. There's a great quotation on Page 22, first paragraph, "An envious heart makes a treacherous ear." We also see a bit of the bond that is between Janie and Pheoby as they can freely sit back and talk to each other all they want, openly as well. Lastly, the dialect on page 23 where Janie is talking about going to, "de grand lodge", reminded me greatly about Of Mice and Men, where George and Lennie had the plan of working hard and eventually moving on to live off the, "fatta the lan'"

Jessica said...

In chapter 1, Janie is depicted as this gorgeous woman with a very sexual image. A lot of gossip goes around the porches of the women that see Janie coming back after many years. I think that the women gossiping about Janie at the porch are all haters because they wish that they looked as good as Janie.

Jessica said...

Ron: In your own words what do you think the quote, "An envious heart makes a treacherous ear.",means?

Julie M.N. said...

I think that the reason these woman are gossiping about Janie is that they see that she had everything she could have ever wanted. She had a rich husband, beauty, and a little "boytoy" on the side. They see that its not fair that she practically had it good and they didn't.

Ron R. said...

Jessica: I felt that the quotation most likely meant that when someone has envy for someone, they will only listen for the bad about that person and will contribute to the "bad" image of said person.

Ayesha said...

Yeah RON i inferred that Janie would be this totally superior woman just from her hair representing her sexuality, Does any one have any predictions of what will happen next based on what we read so far?

Christen said...

i have a feeling that this book will turn into a flash back of Janie talking about her time away.

Deja said...

Thanks for the summary..can't wait to read the book for myself

Kiswana said...

Good Comments people!!!
The novel so far is getting interesting. Why she was not happy with Tea Cake? She tells Pheoby that he left him and he gave her all the “consolation in de world” (23), so why leave him? I think it is really interesting that she tells Pheoby everything when she knows those gossiping ladies will just make evil out of her story. But in the begining of the chapter, Janie is describe as this really amazing looking woman, so maybe thats the reason she could care less of what those women think or say abou her.
Also i find it easier to get the dialect by reading it out loud. =)

Ysabel said...

OMG Jessica I found that same quote and like FELL IN LOVE.!
"An envious heart makes a treacherous ear."
I think it means if you are envious of someone you'll find what ever you can to lower them...Also that an "envious heart" doesn't feel the same way other hearts feel ie; in a kind manner. It's like a "treacherous ear" because seeks all the bad things, and doesn't worry about how the person they are dealing with FEELS.! Honestly I do think it's a flashback story. Maybe Phoeby is a little TOO dependent on Janie's stories and relying on her to fulfill the fantasies that she would never have the guts to try to do.

Ruhala said...

Thats a great quote "An envious heart makes a treacherous ear." In this chapter the main character Janie Starks returns back to her town and the women start gossping of her also envying her.They are jealous of how young she looks and how pretty she is. The women gossip that she only returned because Tea Cake her young lover left her and took all her money. Janies best friend at somepoint during the conversation defends Janie and leaves to go see her and bring her some food. Janie and Pheoby have been friends for about 20 years. Janie tells her that Tea Cake didnt leave her and that he didnt take her money, that the nine hundred dollars is safe in the bank. Janie told Pheoby that Tea Cake is dead and she only returned because she was no longer happy in Everglades.
I agree with Kiswana that the novel is so far interesting, it made we want to read ahead just to read about what really happened to Janie and how Tea Cake died.

Ms. Levine said...

Excellent discussions so far!

I, too, like this proverb. And I agree with what many of you are discussing about Janie's moral superiority.

Since we've been focusing on identity in class, it seems like at this point in her life, Janie is secure with herself and doesn't let others impose societal norms onto her. Something we should all strive for!

See you in class :)

Ysabel said...

I believe that her grandmother deprived Janie of her life experience as a teenage girl and was not allowed to experiment so she fulfills it when she gets older. Hence in the beginning when she is with a younger man and has her hair out like a young girl. I don't know but I see now that her grandmother does really take a huge part in the way Janie is today (well at the age of 40 in the story.)

Ron R. said...

Chapter 2 is a great chapter, in terms of introducing how Janie first ventured into her journey of woman-hood and it does a great job of introducing Janie's grandmother. One of the key things i found about Janie's grandmother was her compassion and sorrow for Janie. Their bond is one of the strongest i've seen in any novel, and transcends a simple Granddaughter-Grandmother relationship. Janie's grandmother describes several things that wrench a deep sense of sympathy and empathy out of the reader for her. I found this especially apparent as she says that she prayed to god only to live long enough to say Janie grow up and live long enough to see her happy and successfully capable in the world. Janie's grandmother even goes as far to say that she loved Janie more than she loved Janie's mother. A great quotation that Janie's grandmother said that sums up their relationship is the one where she says, "Every Tear you drop squeezes a cup uh blood outa mah heart" (33). On the same page, there is another sign of how the grandmother feels about Janie and why she cares so much for her. She feels that Janie was her second chance at raising a child, this time in a proper and successful way (leading us to believe that something terrible happened to the mother). Also throughout this chapter we have a constant dichotomy of the infancy and womanhood of Janie as she is being cuddled in her grandmothers arms, "like they used to." Towards the end of the chapter, we get another view of the racist stereotype of the promiscuity of black women as one of white women questioned the grandmother on why her daughter (as a baby) looked so white and had features of a white person, obviously inferring that the baby is the product of a white male sleeping with this black woman (35). By this point in the chapter, we have entered a flashback within a flashback which creates a tone that's like a movie and piques the reader's attention. In this flashback of Janie's mother's childhood, we find out that her schoolteacher raped her, and left her in the woods for naught. Eventually she came back home, and that is how Janie was conceived. This tells the author that this is the reason that Janie's mother was so traumatized and why Janie had neither a mother nor a father. It truly was a sad sequence, the birth of Janie, and that is why the grandmother was so obliged to see to it that Janie lived a better life than her daughter.

Ron R. said...

Another great quotation of Janie's grandmother was, "Ah'm a cracked plate" (37). This shows that she only wants Janie to be happy and is here begging for her forgiveness, saying that she's not perfect. In chapter 3, we learn that Janie's talk with her grandmother made her convinced to marry Logan Killicks. And throughout this ordeal, Janie had the naive thought that marriage would ultimately equal and create love. But, she found out the hard way that that's not always entirely true. In fact, Janie goes to her grandmother's house and cries to her about how bad the relationship was, in terms of it being loveless. Before that however, i felt that there was a great use of imagery in the quotation, "it was a lonesome place like a stump in the middle of the woods where nobody had ever been" (38). That line just summed up how dreary the location must have been. Finally, we see an allusion back to the pear tree and how Janie only wanted things to be as sweet as when she would lay down by the pear tree. So the pear tree has grown to represent her passion, her lust, and now, her solace in life. She thought that if she got married, things would flow smoothly and she wouldn't have to worry about anything. Of course, she was wrong. At the end of chapter 3, we find out that, fulfilling her promise, Janie's grandmother dies. And the chapter ends with the beautiful quotation of, "she knew now that marriage did not make love, Janie's first dream was dead, so she became a woman" (42). This quotation has an enormous amount of power behind it as it shows how Janie is now growing and learning on her own, which was her first REAL step into her womanhood. I can't wait to see what's in store throughout the rest of the novel, and where the true tragedies lie.

Ron R. said...

sorry for double posting, it was too long originally.

Kissy said...

Chapters 2 and 3 really touched me because I feel as if women are put in some really difficult situations because of other women. Towards the end of chapter 2, we really get to understand the reason why Nanny is so stuck on the fact that Janie must get married. Nanny was rapped and became pregnant with Janie’s mother. She had to runaway in the night with her baby because she was scared to get her punishment of a 100 lashes the next morning. There is a quote that Nanny tells her former slave owner “Ah don’t know nothin’ but what Ah’m told tuh do, ‘cause Ah ani’t nothin’ but uh nigger and uh slave.” (35) This quote is significant because it states exactly what Nanny was to these slave owners, a nigger and a slave. White slave owners had forced sexual acts with these women and they got pregnant and then they were scrutinize and beaten like they could have fight them off. The next example is Janie’s mother who was also rapped. She was rapped by a teacher at her school and she got pregnant with Janie. Her mother sent her to that school to become a school teacher but that all changed that day. After Janie was born she became a drunk and now they don’t know where she is. Now Janie is to be put to marriage because her grandmother can’t take care of her anymore and because she needs protection. Janie does not want to marriage this man but must because her grandmother says so.
These chapters attack certain themes affecting women. Janie wants to find love in her marriage and Nanny just wants her to be safe and protected. In chapter 3 Nanny speaks about the problem with black women, “Dat’s de very prong all us black women gits hung on. Dis love!”(40) She states that black women need to worry about how they are being taken care of because they would end up in the same poor predicament that they were in before. Janie speaks about love in such an amazing way. All Janie wants is to be in love with her husband because she knows that’s what a real marriage is. But she has to think about what love would do to her status as a woman in this world.
This novel has really got me into nature and how amazing it is to just look at the worl through the eyes of nature. That tree is what she wants to be. Oh my gosh i love this book (good choice Ms.L)!

BitterSweetInsanity said...

Ayesha gave a good brief overview of the 1st chapter. and its obvious hos beautiful she is. Just like Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter.

BitterSweetInsanity said...

And i totally agree with what kissy said. there is a big issue when its woman vs woman. ans also, about how when in the days white slave owners would have sexual acts with their servants. Yet its crazy also how black woman are portrayed. They are considered in such a low class that makes me feel disgusted. if only back then, how smart african american woman were and if only they didnt judge them so harshly.

Ron R. said...

Chapter 5 is one of those unnecessarily long chapters that discuss a great deal of information, and it does so successfully as we see in this chapter, Jody's venture into becoming a "big voice", which was his dream. He starts off as a nobody, just walking into a rundown town and all of a sudden, escalates to such a high position, and even becomes mayor after building the town up and making it feel like a real town rather than just a shantytown of houses. Back to the beginning of the chapter, we see Hick's immediate disapproval of Joe as he is seen losing attention and all purpose upon learning that Janie is Joe's wife. After Hicks and Joe converse and move on, Hicks and a friend he was with begin to discuss Janie and how her hair is such an attracting feature about her, in fact, Hicks talks to his friend, after being rejected by Janie, that (being sore) her only very attractive feature is her hair (55). Throughout the chapter, Janie's hair is constantly being revisited as an indication of her sexual, "free" being. Another interesting quotation that I found was when Hicks' friend says, "he' liable tuh do it too...us talks about the white man keepin' us down...us keeps our own selves down" (56). I found this extremely important because it comes back to Zora's purpose of writing this novel, to show a different side other than the stereotypical black community, and that is exactly what this logical deduction shows. That not all African Americans scapegoat the white slave owners, and accept the fact that now they have responsibilities and can’t blame others for it. We also see Joe's rise to becoming a big voice as he builds the town up and becomes the mayor of Eatonville, Florida. He is on the road to accomplishing his dream, but at the cost of pushing away Janie. And speaking of Janie, there is a terrible irony for her and her two marriages. With Logan, she was overwhelmed and her abilities were overestimated while Joe undermines her capabilities completely, not allowing her to give a simple speech at the meeting in the newly built store. And Joe, on the contrary, is an excellent orator.

Ron R. said...

And with this undermining by Joe, Janie's naivety of marriage is yet again exploited and she is left hurt again as Joe essentially tells her that his position as mayor is more important than their relationship. Back to Joe, who has now, at this point become drunk with his powers and is abusing them a bit too much with some ridiculous whims. He has been described as a dictator, and has the "bow down" (65) facial expression to match; and not to mention his supreme power over the town. And Joe, like any inexperienced ruler, becomes mad with the power, and this is seen where he buys this beautiful gold pot and makes a spittoon out of it, when one of the townspeople could have made a special decoration out of it. He even gives a modified feminine spittoon to Janie. He also builds this large, grand, exquisite house and then refuses to move in until it is painted a pure white, which has been compared to the pure holiness of a priest. And, like any other significant event, there is a great quotation to depict this, which is, "but any man who walks in the way of power and property is bound to meet hate" (66). This quotation portrays exactly what is beginning to happen to Joe. He is only respected out of the fear he has instilled in the village people. He even goes as far to restrict Janie's freedom too, in an epitome of irony. Janie's hair, her freedom and sexuality, was at first kept behind her grandmother's gate, then behind Logan's barn, and now Joe is limiting it by making her hide it under a hat, and work in the store. Janie's life looks extremely bleak, but given the in medias res intro, we know something big is bound to happen, and I am anxious to discover what exactly it will be.

Liz said...

well so far i am really loving this book. Although Zora was criticized for her writing during that time, i feel it was good for her to write these stories because it discusses the underlying insecurities of people toward each other and another race.

Deja H said...

Wow Ron, you wrote the whole chapter. laugh out loud. I must admit, guilty as charged, that I read way ahead and found some of my predictions to be true. I will not say them now, of course or I would spoil it, but there is a lot of foreshadowing in the early chapters for the later ones. I love the language they use in this book and sometimes read aloud just to laugh at how Southern it is. [Inside Joke: P'taters]

Ruhala said...

Ron great anaylsis! I agree with Deja its as if you wrote the whole chapt. but its still great. I feel that whoever Janie is with she has somewhat of limited freedom,sometimes she cant do things the way she wants. Theres always someone having some controll to over her. For instance as Ron mentioned her sexuality is being hidden. I thought that Janie would get some type of freedom with Joe but Joes making her work in a shop and making her hide her pretty hair by wearing a hat. Cant wait to read what happens next .....couldnt wait read on any ways. Laugh out loud Deja P'taters!

Crismely'sSmile said...

I found chapter 6 interesting because she seems that they are molding her to make her do what they want her to. She doesn't reply to their silly little orders for their food or Jody's commenting. "She went through many silent rebellions over things like that. Such a waste of life and time. But Joe kept saying that she could do it if she wanted to and he wanted her to use her privileges. That was the rock she was battered against" As he became more and more aware he started to cover her beauty. "because Joe never told Janie how jealous he was." "She was there in the store for him to look at, not those others" Janie was becoming more of a possession than a wife. (quotes were all from 73) Later on in the story Janie is out raged by the treatment of the mule. I could not help but wonder if the mule was symbolic. She muttered to her self "They oughta be shamed uh theyselves!...Dine been worked tuh death...disposition ruint wid mistreatment...got tuh finish devilin 'im tuh death. Wisht Ah had mah way wid 'em all"(75) She could not help but think that they should have had some regard for "helpless thing" To RON and AYESHA and JESSICA and JULIE and etc (I'm getting lazy) do you agree.? because it seem like she had empathy for the poor mule. As the chapter goes on Jody tries to put a hold on his position as a man! When they had a argument he went out of his way to wonder why she could be mad even though "She had no right to be, the way he thought things out"(81)Was his way of thinking the right way? Or was just the man's way of thinking the right way?

Deja said...

Ysabel I totally agree with the latter question. Black or white, a man ruled all, including the thoughts of women...supposedly. When I read that chapter and chapter 7, My mind kept thinking..why don't they have kids. It would make sense because then Janie would have something to do at home and keep others from seeing the beauty only he was to look at. Yo (sorry for the slang) I read ahead, and fell in love with Tea Cake. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say he's the best husband yet for Janie. Then again from the first chapter, something is bound to go wrong.

Kissy said...

Thanks for the hint Deja,(laugh out loud)
With Janie as a character I don't ever want to feel sorry for her or give her pity because I feel she put herself in to this situation thinking that life would be different and it was not. As she fights Jody in chapter 7, a read can tell that Janie doesn’t play and I feel she was feed up of what he was putting her through. And in Jody defense, all he is trying to do is to make people in the town feel as if he is god and he can do no wrong. And through Janie he shows her faults and that makes him superior. Also I don’t think he is doing to be mean but because he has to. He thinks the mayor must be a certain way and if he does not be this evil leader than he is not a real mayor.

Ron R. said...

Chapter 9 is a very significant chapter, in terms of Janie's development as a "human". After Joe's death, Janie suddenly has pure, unalienable, and undeniable freedom for the first time. It's as if the gate that held her back so long ago had finally opened and now welcomed Janie to pass through. Janie, after being locked behind the gate for so long, didn't have to think twice about leaving the confines of the perimeter of her grandmother's house. She is seen throughout this chapter enjoying the freedom that she as now acquired and she shouldn't be guilty about it at all. A few interesting points that i found in this chapter was 1, the veil she wore at Joe's funeral reminded me greatly of the story, "the Minister's Black Veil", by Nathaniel Hawthorne, as Janie hid her face from the world, just as the minister did too. Janie, however, did no have the purpose for wearing the black veil like the minister, but did so none-the-less. The other interesting point that i found was that the way she rejected the suitors constantly in the same manner as Odysseus's wife in, "The Odyssey" by Homer. Although Janie did it because she loved her freedom, and Penelope did so because she knew her husband was alive somewhere, they did the very same actions.

Ruhala said...

In chapter 9 Janie changed cause of the death of her husband Jody. The first thing she did when he died was that she burned all her caps that she was made to wear when she was with him. Now since shes free, she let her hair out freely. She finally obtained control for herself. I like this line from the chapter " for no matter how far a person can go the horzion is still way beyond you"(110).
Janie likes how the guys flirt with her but she has expeienced enough with Logan and Jody that not to trust guys lie the ones described in the chapter. I find it werid Hezekiah is imitating Jody , I believe he was the only one who actually admired him. Its also interesting how Janie doesnt mind him acting like that. I liked how the aruthor used the one word sentences in the beginning of the chapter.

Lucky said...

O_O
Okay so the 10th grade scholars totally need to read these comments and LEARN. Our post looks crappy compared to the 11th grade scholars' post.

Crismely'sSmile said...

(To LUCKY)HAHA Yea we're totally awesome and because if we leave little comments Ms Levine will massacre us.!
Anyhow.! I really like how Zora (sorry I like her 1st name better) Keeps on Making it OBVIOUS how different Tea Cake and Joe are. She not only makes you assume but she also uses her descriptive writing to describe how Tea Cake is and she even uses the Dialogue to show how Joe still oppresses her in a way; while simultaneously showing how she notices they are different.**Side note these M&M peanuts are AWESOME.! Back on topic.! I was so scared that Tea Cake had left her deserted.! When she was talking about Tyler.! (sneak Peak.!) I hate how all the people are being B****A**es.! Like it's funny how they mention that all the men that are saying Tea Cake probably just wants her money are people WHO WOULD DO THE SAME THING.! Get with Janie to get her money.! *shake my head* If the men are paying so much attention to how "fine" Janie is in her clothes then I know the women are too.! For every man gawking at you there are 5 women behind him criticizing your for the attention you are getting that they are too afraid to try and get. I don't know but the people are looking reaaaallll Jealous (kills people)And makes you look ignorant.

Alyssa said...

Well i am absolutely in love with this book. I'm glad that Tea Cake has finally been introduced to us. Ever since the beginning of the novel i've been curious about this guy Janie ran away with. But anyways, i feel like Tea Cake brings out the youth in Janie. In my opinion the quote "She was saving up feelings for some man she had never seen. She has an inside and an outside now and suddenly she knew now not to mix them." (91) was foreshadowing the arrival of Tea Cake into Janie's life. Tea Cake is the man that Janie can let in to see her inside and outside. She no longer has to put up a front like she had to when she was with Jody. Also, she will finally be respected and treated the right way. She will no longer be treated as being inferior to the man. Janie's voice will finally be heard, she will no longer be silenced by a man. The death of Jody definitely liberated Janie. Tea Cake is the man that will make Janie's pear tree grow and blossom.

Deja said...

Ysabel..that quote was so great, i'm going to post it on facebook so the whole world can see!. ok, anyways, i agree that the towns people are jealous and i also find it interesting that phoebe sort of buys into it and then tries to "warn" janie. She's just being a good friend, i know but, knowing janie for all this time she should have better faith in her friend.Also notice how tea cake is supposedly obliviuos to the people spreading rumors. Zora, i like her first name too, doesn't really describe how he's taking it but she does describe that he is not stupid. He pays no attention to people who have no idea what's going on behind the scenes. Also in response to Ruhala, Janie likes Hezekiah acting like Jody because it still gives her a sense of security and familiar setting. It make the store more comfortable when she has "store clerk Jody" without the "oppressive sexist Jody"

Liz said...

ysabel i like your quote " For every man gawking at you there are 5 women behind him criticizing your for the attention you are getting that they are too afraid to try and get."...bcause it is true..like when the story first began..even wen she wasn't looking her best and had been away for a while people were still talking about her..but as for ch. 11, i think its sweet the way Teacake is always complementing her while she seems like she has low confidence (because of Joe)..he tells her to jus look at her self in the mirror one day and appreciate the beauty that's there.. "Umph! Umph! Umph! Ah betcha you don't never go tuh de lookin' glass and enjoy yo' eyes yo'self. You lets other folks git all de enjoyment out of 'em 'thout takin' in any of it yo'self." And another quote i like is "Ah didn't aim tuh let on tuh yuh 'bout it, leastways not right away, but ah ruhter be shot wid tacks thab fuh you tuh act wid me lak you is right now. You got me in de go-long." This quote shows how much Teacake likes Janie and he doesn't want her to think he's a pimp and womanizer...

Liz said...

on pg. 127 Janie says that "He could be a bee to a Blossom- a pear tree blossom in the spring." This is shows that Janie's feeling from wen she was 16 under that pear tree are coming back again..i also thought it was noble for Tea Cake to come back to her house early in the morning to show her that his feelings about her are still the same, whether sun up or down...i like the quote "So much had been breathed out by the pores that Tea Cake still was there. She could feel him and almost see him bucking around the room in the upper air. After a long time of passive happiness, she got up and opened the window and let Tea Cake leap forth and mount the sky on the wind. That was the beginning of things." because it really was the beginning for Janie. It was the beginning of her love blossoming from a seed to a pear tree..i also like this quote because it really describes the feeling of falling in love.. like when you first fall in love with someone they're all u think about and it feels like just the beginning

Liz said...

i also noticed that Tea Cake is the first guy that Janie has met that doesn't just want to go off and marrt her before he even gets to know her

Ayesha said...

I love Tea Cake. I think he is Janie's other half. I believe that he is the symbol of nature and that he will always be compared to it. In my opinion this the best book we've read since 9th grade and I know it is going to get better. Also, getting back to the book, I wonder why Janie decided to leve Tea Cake, and i wonder why she said that she was no longer happy with him when he is suppose to be her human symbol of nature. Thats something to look foward to.

Crismely'sSmile said...

PS that wasn't a quote from the book (the men gawking thing) I just made it up.! I also think he's her other half.! It's amazing how something that happened so quick clicked so perfectly.! I love it.!

Crismely'sSmile said...

Inappropriate comment: I want to see the movie.! I want to find out if Tea Cake is sexy.! >=]

Deja said...

laugh out loud. Me too. I'm so anxious to hear what you guys think about the later chapters. AS for the ones we're discussing now, Ayesha is right that Tea Cake is the first man to want to know Janie first. Jody knew her very little, and...the other guy..killint was it?..didn't know her at all.

Anonymous said...

THIS BOOK SOUND VERY INTRESTING ........CANT WAIT TO READ IT......
LESLIE GONZALEZ

Kissy said...

(Ysabel... he is!!!)
Tea Cake brings out a new side of Janie. With him she wants to go to the bars and go everywhere with him. He also brings out this really soft and caring side of Janie which I had not seen from sense she was being her Grandmother not to let her get married so young. She really does care about Tea Cake because she was defending him while he was out gambling. Tea Cake brings out the real Janie, the hidden and scared to come out Janie, and shows how different she is from the rest of the world. I love Tea Cake! And about true love, this story at this point, because it might change or he might change, can actually happen. She didn't know him and yet she felt like her life was over when he come home cut up. To that are true love and that came from love at first site.

My favorite quote was "so her soul crawled out from its hiding place". It’s significant because I believe Tea Cake is the one who really brought that beautiful soul that was hiding.

Cristal! said...

Woah. The 11th grade scholars have a great blog! I love how they interect with eachother and answer eachothers questions and just really talk about the book to help their peers.
Keep up the awesome work. Us 10th grade have alot to learn from you guys.

Liz said...

oh my god... is it just me or is anyone esle shocked that Tea Cake hit Janie...i mean the audacity...goodness gracious..but on to another part what about this chick Nunkie trying to steal her man...and then he said "she grabbed mah workin' tickets outa mah shirt pocket and Ah run tuh git 'em back."..what a likely story..but u saw Nunkie ran away before Janie could whoop that a**...laugh out loud...then this lady (Mrs. Turner), whose half black and half white by the way, is anti-African..i mean you can like what you want but you should at least embrace in some of your culture instead of trying to bring them down...you say you don't like them but they are the ones you and your husband are selling too (how ironic) (still goes on in modern society in "the hood")...sorry everybody for going backward through the chapters... =}...ha ha he has a mustache

Liz said...

i mean't to say beard

Crismely'sSmile said...

OH MY GOSH.! THANK GOODNESS I'm not the only one.! I was SOOOOOO mad when I read that he hit her I was like oh d.! I'm about to kill him.! He hit my bestie Janie. =] lol jk And yea but the thing is the jealousy is really taking a hold of them both. Like I don't understand how hitting her would prove that he's in charge IT PROVES HE'S A MORON WITH A HEAVY HAND AND INSECURITIES.! The way the men talked about hitting Janie and how she probably doesn't make a sound enraged me.! I mean did any one else catch that.? They talked about it like it was like a dance competition.! Why do they make it seem like hitting a woman is more of an empowerment strategy than a degrading act.? And DEJA I feel the same way I read a head then want to talk about it and CAN'T.! I know if I was reading a book and someone told me ,I would want to kick some booty.! But yea this is all for now. =]

Kissy said...

In Chapter 16, I feel as if it was a journey out of the book and into what actually made Janie so much different from the other characters. Mrs. Turner, a mixed woman, feels as if Janie is slumming because she is with tea cake and that she deserves better. Not because of who she is but because of her skin color, and hair color, and diversity. Mrs. Tuner thinks that more people should be mixed and talks really poorly about fellow black people. She makes it seem as if she is whiter than she is. If you were just to read what she says about blacks and her features a reader might think she was white. But if you think about what she says exactly; it’s not her fault. Society makes these women feel as if they are better than everybody else. Where would she get the thought of being mixed was a good thing? Only if many people told her that it was. Even today, in modern, societies we make it seem as if lighter African Americans are better than darker ones. If we really think about it, or ancestors were rapped by slave owners and that is why we are so mixed and light. I don’t like thinking that is such an accomplishment that I’m light or that I am better than anybody but there are some “yellower” people who feel as if they are. Mrs. Tuner, to me, is not an evil character she is an honest one. Society makes her feel with her light completion, her white features, and white family members that she is better. Also I believe she was actually Zora’s most interesting character in the sense that she talks the truth about African Americans. She states how the black people are all hollering and talking loud and laughing loud. She was writing us black people and writing what she saw. Now I understand why writers like R. Wright didn’t like Hurston because she was honest and she held up a mirror to what white people saw. To me this was the best chapter of the book and I truly want to see more from this Mrs. Turner.

Deja said...

KIssy...all i can say is dido. I do not like Mrs. Turner at all. She is worst than the slave owners about blacks but is oh too quick to take their money. I like what they do to teach her a lesson. About T.C hitting Janie...he's defniately an @#$ for that..and then his friends have this ugly fantasy about leaving marks on their women. To be honest, when they said the black ones fight back and heal quicker all i thought was "damn straight"

Kissy said...

Well I knew it; Teacake was too good to be true! How dear he hit her? I think he didn’t it to make his manhood shown around the town, so people could know that she was his, and to make Mrs. Tuner know who was in charge in the relationship. Then he takes the sweet comments she tells him ( that she will go wherever he goes and that she will stay with him through everything) against her. He tell his friend that he beats her and she don’t ever him back that she just sits there and cry. That makes him seem like a monster. I do not like this new side of tea cake at all!

Ron R. said...

Great analysis guys, and your anger is very justified. Chapter 17 is a chapter that shows the once "perfect" love between Janie and TeaCake isn't as perfect anymore. This chapter does a great job at illustrating the differences that both Teacake and Janie are going through. Teacakes conversation with Sop-de-bottom about hitting women was truly disgusting to me. and Janie is depicting emotions of "hate" towards her fellow citizens of the muck saying that she hates "niggers" and others. The conversation that she has with Mrs. Turner reveals a lot of their personas and its really interesting how Janie depicts very similar emotions and aspects that Mr. Ryder from "The Wife of My youth" by Charles Chesttnut. The plot is thickening and i can't wait to see what happens next!

Kissy said...

Chapter 18 reminds me of Katrina and how all those people had to stand on their roofs and hold on for dear life. The death in the story does not help either =(


I felt so bad for them but it is their own fault for staying. But I noticed something with Tea Cake. He redeemed himself! He helped her get away from that evil dog and he didn’t even want to kill the poor dog. He also admitted his mistake and tried with all his might to get him and his wife out of that horrible situation. He got back on my good side because even in a heap load of trouble he still manages to be himself. Making a joke after a dog nearly took of his face. What is going to happen to him with that huge bite on his face? I hope he doesn’t die!!!



Also the imagery of the storm was so amazing and vivid. Hurston wrote it like she was in the storm herself and it also made me feel I was in the storm too. My favorite quotes are “Night was striding across nothingness with the whole round world in his hand.” (181) the personification of night was so strong and powerful. Next “Six eyes were questioning God” (182) and “They seemed to be staring at dark, but their eyes were watching God” (183). They’re some difficult quotes and I hope we could go over them. =)

Deja said...

the book is finished...what a wonderful journey.. can't wait for the new book by Toni Morrison "blue eyes " is it?

Crismely'sSmile said...

Ms.! This is not a threat but.! WE BETTER READ Toni Morrison "blue eyes".! I loved the ending to the book I only wished he didn't have to die.! =[ Poor sexy Tea Cake with his rabies.! I didn't expect she would take his life. =| Too bad huh.?

Ms. Levine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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