Their Eyes Were Watching God 5 Essay

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Their Eyes Were Watching God 5 Essay, Research Paper THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD Plot (Synopsis) When Janie returns to Eatonville, the whole town seems to turn out to watch her walk down the street by herself and up to her own house. She had disappeared some years before, with a young man named Tea Cake. The townspeople wonder why he has not returned with her. In fact, the town is viciously curious, but only Pheoby Watson cares enough about Janie to go and visit her, bringing some dinner and lending a friendly ear. Janie decides to tell her friend Pheoby the whole story of her life. Janie’s story begins in the backyard of her grandmother’s white employers, where she realizes she is darker-skinned than the white children she has always lived around. Janie has lived a

conservative childhood, for she is being raised by her protective and traditional grandmother. When her grandmother sees her kissing a local boy over the garden fence, she grows worried about Janie’s future and marries her off to an older neighbor, Logan Killicks, a man with property who can “protect” her. The marriage is not happy for Janie. Her grandmother dies, and after a short time, Janie escapes from Logan. She marries Joe Starks, and they go to live at a new black settlement called Eatonville. Joe is an ambitious man. He becomes mayor of the new town, opens a store, builds a big white house, and runs the post office. He wants Janie to act like the wife of an important man, just as he directs. He also wants her to run the store and obey his other commands. Janie,

however, wants to live like the other townsfolk, who talk and laugh on their porches and are involved in social events. Although Janie puts up with Joe’s mistreatment, life is not pleasant for her. One day after almost twenty years of marriage, Joe humiliates her once again in front of people in the store and she stands up for herself for the first time. Janie tells him a thing or two about his aging self. As a result, Joe shuts her out of his life. Joe soon becomes ill, but still refuses to speak to Janie. One day, when she feels she can take it no longer, Janie burst s into his sick room and tells him what has been wrong with their marriage. Joe looks away from her and dies. Although the town expects her to be in mourning, Janie feels free of a heavy weight and begins to live

her life with her own thoughts. Although she is a wealthy widow, she still tends the store. She also has plenty of suitors, but none she likes; she thinks they are boring and eager for her money. One day, while the whole town is away at a ball game, a stranger comes by the store and ends up joking and talking to Janie. The young man, whose name is Tea Cake, teaches her to play checkers and generally makes her feel like a regular person with a playful heart. Although Janie is very cautious of his attentions and their age difference, he keeps coming around and taking her out. He finally declares that he loves her and wants to marry her. They leave town, get married, and start a very different sort of life for Janie. Tea Cake is a gambler and a good-timer. At first he is reluctant

to take Janie into the society of his friends, but she convinces him that she wants to live life beside him, not as a possession. Joe agrees. One day they go down to “the muck” to pick green beans, live in a shanty, play music and dance, and have a good time. Trouble arrives when one of Janie’s questionable friends wants to hook her up with her brother. Though Janie has no intention of doing so, Tea Cake beats her to show the world who is boss. Janie is hurt, but remains silent about the beating. When a hurricane threatens “the muck”, Tea Cake refuses to leave. Then the dam of a nearby lake collapses, and the couple has to run for their lives. During their exhausting escape, Janie is swept into a deep stream of moving water and tries to save herself by holding onto a