Chapter 15- Chapter 20 (Their Eyes are watching God)


New Setting (Chapter 15)

The Everglades/ Life on the Muck:

"Sometimes Janie would think of the old days in the big white house and the store and laugh to herself"

  • More representative of her freedom and social judgement
  • Looks back on Eatonville
  • Gets to choose what she wants here
  • Removed from her previous life
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Comparison to Offred and Setting

How does Hurston's portrayal of Janie's interaction with the different settings compare and contrast with Atwood's portrayal of Offred's relationship with her setting?

  • Offred and waiting room
    • Use of tangents and digressions
    • New order of society
    • Not very comfortable with this setting
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How does Hurston depict nature in their eyes were watching god?

Hurston uses the pear and the bees, the horizon, and the hurricane to show that nature and Janie are one. As nature exhibits certain characteristics, Janie soon follows certain aspects.

The Hurricane is the climatic event of the novel and its aftermath with the flood and the rabid dog cause the tragic downfall of Tea cake.

What could the hurricane represent?

  • The unpredictability of nature
  • The lack of control that humans really have over their lives
  • And/ or the hand of god
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Fall of Tea Cake

As well as the unpredictability of the weather, Tea cake (and Janie by association) is forced to confront the other irrational event in life : illness

"Two men coming towards him with rifles on their shoulders…Two white men"

"Tea cake…had to die for loving her"

"So when he went out to the outhouse she rushed to see if the pistol was loaded"

"Janie saw that then he had the gun in his hand that was hanging to his side"

"Janie yelled at him as the gun wavered weakly in his hand"

"She broke the rifle deftly and shoved in the shell as the second click told her that Tea Cake's suffering brain was urging him on to kill"

  • Not happy to say goodbye, but she knows that she has to overcome this
  • Has to deal with this on her own, as she doesn't have the support of a male or the community itself.
  • Take responsibility and making her own decisions
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Final Thoughts of Pheoby and Janie

The End: Final thoughts of Pheoby and Janie

In the final paragraph, Janie is on her own and we have echoes of the start of the novel.

Why has Hurston ended the novel in this way?

  • To reflect on what has happened throughout the novel and how much her life has changed through the different relationships she has been in and what she has had to overcome. To help us see how much Janie has grown as a person through the difficulties in life and how she has gained independence.
  • To show how Janie hasn't overcome the relationship she has with Tea cake and how he is still a part of her life no matter what. He is dead in real life but how he isn't dead at all to her and how he still has a massive place in his life.
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Pheoby as a representative of the Reader

 Pheoby represents the reader in listening to Janie's story.

"Lawd! Pheoby breathed out heavily, 'Ah done growed ten feet higher from jus' listenin' tuh you, Janie. Ah ain't satisfied wid mahself no mo'. Ah means tuh make Sam take me fishin' wid him after his. Nobody better not criticize yuh in mah hearin'."

  • Encourages us to agree with Janie and her decisions
  • Take something from it (independence etc and learn something from it)
  • Trusting the reader to become a part of the story that she is telling
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