- Slides: 63
Their Eyes Were Watching God Chapters 7 -9
PLOT, CHAPTERS 7 -9
Plot Line ● ● ● Janie has become disconnected from Jody romantically and realizes that Jody was only constricting her and limiting her potential ○ She is a “rut in the road” with “plenty of life beneath the surface but it was kept beaten down by wheels” ○ Internal struggle between her desires as an individual and duties as a wife She thought of running away from the relationship, but has matured from when she did that previously and disregards it Janie finds escape from her struggles under a metaphorical “shady tree” where “wind blow[ing] through her hair and clothes” ○ “Making summertime out of lonesomeness”- realizing her freedom and strength as an individual, as opposed to as a wife She notices “Joe” has aged ○ “Didn’t rear back in his knees any longer” ○ “Squatted over his ankles” ○ “Stillness at back of neck” ○ “Belly… sagged like a load suspended from his loins” ○ “Eyes a little absent” Jody had noticed too, but had belittled Janie’s appearance so to draw attention away from himself ○ Thought he was successful in drawing attention away from himself, but she saw right through his lies (77 -78) ○ Decides to “measure out a little time for him and set it aside to wait, ” namely not pursue her freedom and wait in interest of protecting Jody
Plot Line, cont. ● ● ● ● Janie cuts tobacco wrong and Jody verbally attacks her skills and looks for it ○ People in the store “laugh” at her Janie finally speaks up against Jody ○ By doing so, she strips away his respect, “vanity, ” and “strength” ○ “Cast down his empty armor before men and they laughed” Jody beats Janie brutally and forces her out of the store for the harm she caused him socially (irony) Jody moves his things downstairs so that Janie thinks he hates her Janie is conflicted and realizes she doesn’t want to live a life in which “new thoughts” and “new words” said just divided the relationship further Notices Jody was getting “baggy all over” ○ Bags: vessel for carrying something ○ Joe carried Janie to a high social level ○ At this point, Janie starts to realize that Jody is hollow: looks good on the outside by has no sustenance or benefit for her Joe makes new alliances with people he previously was opposed to ○ Starts meeting with a root doctor ○ “Root”: part of a tree and nature- part that absorbs the sustenance ○ No science behind it- trusting magic and voodoo
Plot Line, cont. ● ● ● ● ● Joe has “old lady Davis” cook for him instead of Janie attempts to cook for Joe, but he refuses to eat it ○ Strips away his definition of her worth as a wife and woman Janie confides in Pheoby, concerned that Joe thinks Janie would hurt him ○ Pheoby tells her to not say anything about her discomforts in marriage as it was “too late fuh [them] tuh be splittin’ up” ○ Janie tells Pheoby she thinks that Joe is just pretending to believe in root doctors in order to hurt Janie cries often, and Joe refuses to admit her to the sick room ○ Cries over own internal struggles People began to go in and out of the house without acknowledging Janie and looked over her efforts in the store ○ The society is watching over Janie and making sure she fits the constraints Jody set for her (take Jody’s side) Janie sends for an actual doctor from Orlando to look at Jody. He tells Janie that Jody is dying. Janie starts to think about death, and feels bad for Jody for having to die alone. Joe refuses Janie’s visit; thinks that he is going to be fine People wait in the yard under trees like buzzards before the death of an animal Janie decides to go in and talk to Jody. ○ Jody is lying on his side facing the door ○ “Her pride for Jody” is hurt by “the half-washed bedclothes”
Plot Line, cont. ● ● ● ● Jody tells Janie he ought to have “sympathy” for him after all he “done fuh yuh” Janie says she is trying to show Jody “what kinda person” she is “befo’ it’s too late” ○ Jody starts to cry as he realizes he’s going to die Janie starts to tell Jody that he never really knew her, and that he needs to listen to her one time before he dies ○ In response, Jody gets angry and resentful. He never really listens to what Janie has to say Jody dies, and Janie “irons her face” to show the public what they want to see from her: mournfulness Jody’s funeral is extravagant and reaks with “power” ○ Almost God-like ○ People line the road to see the procession ○ “The Little Emperor of the cross-roads was leaving Orange County as he had come--with the out-stretched hand of power. ” Janie “irons her face” to show mournfulness, but she was not grieving ○ Funeral on outside, calmness on the inside ○ “All things considering death and burial were said and done. ” ○ “She sent her face to Joe’s funeral, and herself went rollicking with the springtime across the world. ” Janie “burnt up every one of her head rags and went about the house next morning with her hair in one thick braid swinging well below her waist. ” ○ She has escaped the oppression, has her individual identity back ○ Didn’t change much else, because “she would have the rest of her life to do as she pleased”
Plot Line, cont. ● ● ● Janie gets lonely in the house at night, and ponders maybe returning home and looking for her mother or visiting her grandmother’s grave ○ But, she reflects on herself and realizes that “she had no interest in that seldom-seen mother at all” and “hated her grandmother” ○ She had been ready to pursue freedom and higher social status (the horizon) but Nanny, in her attempts to protect her from the dangers in the world, had nearly destroyed her granddaughter’s chances of getting to her goals. ○ “She had been set in the market-place to sell” Suitors vy for Janie’s hand in marriage. ○ Wealth and marital status made her desirable ○ Men say Janie needs “assistance, ” and that a “woman by herself is uh pitiful thing” Janie denies them as she was “fine” with the “freedom feeling” she had, and the “men didn’t represent a thing she wanted to know about”
Plot Line, cont. ● ● ● ● Ike Green warns her that “womenfolk” are easily taken advantage of, and that she must marry soon if she wants to be taken care of and left alone 6 months pass, and Janie still is wearing black, and no one has gained access to the house Janie is happy except for in the store, as she still feels like “she was still clerking for Joe” in their Janie notices Hezekiah is starting to imitate Joe ○ “I god…” Page 92 ○ “Thrust out his lean belly” Hezekiah starts to treat Janie “like a baby sister, ” even though he was just 17 years old ○ “This business of managing stores and women store-owners was trying on a man’s nerves” ○ He feels responsible for her; like he must be in charge of her as he is a man Men of the town continue to admire and seek Janie, but “all that they said and did was refracted by her inattention” Pheoby and Janie visited occasionally, and “once in awhile sat around the lakes and fished” ○ Janie tells Pheoby that she is enjoying the freedom of being a single woman, and that “mourning oughtn’t tuh last no longer’n grief. ”
Extended Metaphor ● ● ● ● Time Mouth Janie’s World Darkness/ Shade Nature Sun Wind Hair Seasons Feet Eyes Hen/ Chicken Buzzard ● ● ● ● ● Water/ Ocean God Blood Death Dog Mule Horizon Ships Hands
Extended Metaphor: Time “The years took all the fight out of Janie’s face. For a while she thought it was gone from her soul. No matter what Jody did, she said nothing. She had learned how to talk some and leave some. She was a rut in the road. ” 76 “Because [Jody] began to talk about her age all the time, as if he didn’t want her to stay young while he grew old. ” 76 “She[Janie] just measured a little time out for him [Jody] and set it aside to wait. ” 78 “She didn’t know that he was driven by a desperate hope to appear the old-time body in her sight. ” 82 “‘Just a matter of time, ’ the doctor told her. ‘When a man’s kidneys stop working altogether, there is no way for him to live. He needed medical attention two years ago. Too late now. ’” 83 “She hated her grandmother and had hidden it from herself all these years under a cloak of pity. ” 89
Extended Metaphor: Time, cont. “Pheoby, for de longest time, Ah been feelin’ dat somethin’ set for still-bait, but dis is--oh Pheoby! Whut kin I do? ” -Janie, 82 “It’s too late fuh y’all to be spilttin’ up and gittin’ a divorce. ” -Pheoby, 82 “Tuh think Ah been wid Jody twenty yeahs and Ah just now got tuh bear de name uh poisonin’ him! It’s ‘bout to kill me, Pheoby. ” -Janie, 82
Extended Metaphor: Mouth → “‘Maybe he [Jody] ain’t nothin, ’ she cautioned herself, ‘but he is something in my mouth. He’s got tuh be else Ah ain’t got nothin’ to live for. Ah’ll lie and say he is. If Ah don’t, life won’t be nothin’ but uh store and uh house. ’” -Janie, 76 “You de one started talkin’ under people’s clothes. Not me. ” -Janie, 79 “For the first time she [Janie] could see a man’s head naked of its skull. Saw the cunning thoughts race in and out through the caves and promontories of his mind long before they darted out of the tunnel of his mouth. ” 76 → “But Janie had done worse, she had cast down his empty armor before men and they had laughed, would keep on laughing. ” 79 -80 “A big laugh started off in the store but people got to thinking and stopped. ” 78 “You big-bellies round here and put out a lot of brag, but ‘tain’t nothin’ to it but yo’ big voice. ” 79 “For what can excuse a man in the eyes of other men for lack of strength? Raggedy-behind squirts of sixteen and seventeen would be giving him merciless pity out of their eyes while their mouths said something humble. ” 80
Extended Metaphor: Mouth, cont. “He had always been scornful of the root-doctors and all their kind, but now she saw a faker from over around Altamonte Springs, hanging around the place almost daily. Always talking in low tones when she came near, or hushed altogether. ” 82 “She was worried about his not eating his meals, till she found out he was having old lady Davis to cook for him. ” 82 “‘Ah’m stone dead from standin’ still and tryin’ tuh smile. ’” 83 “When God had made The Man, he made him out of stuff that sung all the time and glittered all over. Then after that some angels got jealous and chopped him into millions of pieces, but still he glittered and hummed. ” 90 “Another time she heard [Hezekiah] using Joe’s favorite expression for pointing out the differences between himself and the carelessliving, mouthy town. “Ah’m an educated man, Ah keep mah arrangements in mah hands. ” She laughed outright at that. ”
Extended Metaphor: Janie’s World “She [Janie] was a rut in the road… Now and again she thought of a country road at sun-up and considered flight. ” 76 “Joe Starks didn’t know the words for all this, but he knew the feeling. So he struck Janie with all his might and drove her from the store. ” 80 “If Ah don’t, life won’t be nothin’ but uh store and uh house. ” -Janie, 76 → “After that night Jody moved his things and slept in a room downstairs. ” 81 → “She [Janie] didn’t read books so she didn’t know that she was the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop. Man attempting to climb to painless heights from his dung hill. ” 76 “Then too she noticed how baggy Joe was getting all over. Like bags hanging from an ironing board. ” 81 “It got to be terrible in that store. ” 78
Extended Metaphor: Janie’s World, cont. → “People came and went from her house. This one and that one came into her house with covered plates of broth and other sick-room dishes without taking the least notice of her as Joe’s wife. People who never had known what it was to enter the gate of the Mayor’s yard unless it were to do some menial job now paraded in and out as his confidants. They came to the store and ostentatiously looked over whatever she was doing and went back to report to him at the house. ” 83 “She kept the store in the same way except of evenings she sat on the porch and listened and sent Hezekiah in to wait on late custom. She saw no reason to rush at changing things around. She would have the rest of her life to do as she pleased. ” 89 “Most of the day she was at the store, but at night she was there in the big house and sometimes it creaked and cried all night under the weight of lonesomeness. Then she’d lie awake in bed asking lonesomeness some questions. ” 89
Extended Metaphor: Janie’s World, cont. “Six months of wearing black passed and not one suitor had ever gained the house porch. Janie had talked and laughed in the store at times, but never seemed to want to go further. She was happy except for the store. ” 91
Extended Metaphor: Darkness and Shade “But mostly she [Janie] lived between her hat and her heels, with her emotional disturbances like shade patterns in the woods--come and gone with the sun. ” 76 → “The one day she [Janie] sat and watched the shadow of herself going about tending store and prostrating itself before Jody, while all the time she herself sat under a shady tree with the wind blowing through her hair and her clothes. ” 77 “After that night Jody moved his things and slept in a room downstairs. ” 81 * “Most of the day she was at the store, but at night she was there in the big house and sometimes it creaked and cried all night under the weight of lonesomeness. Then she’d lie awake in bed asking lonesomeness some questions. ” 89 * “Six months of wearing black passed and not one suitor had ever gained the house porch. ” 91
Extended Metaphor: Nature “But mostly she [Janie] lived between her hat and her heels, with her emotional disturbances like shade patterns in the woods-- come and gone with the sun. ” 76 “Then one day she [Janie] sat and watched the shadow of herself going about tending the store and procrastinating itself before Jody, while all the time she herself sat under a shady tree with the wind blowing through her hair. ” 77 “There was some more good-natured laughter at the expense of women. ” 78 “He had always been scornful of the root-doctors and all their kind, but now she saw a faker from over around Altamonte Springs, hanging around the place almost daily. Always talking in low tones when she came near, or hushed altogether. ” 82 “And then if hadn’t, the next morning she was bound to know, for people began to gather in the big yard under the palm and china-berry trees. ” 84
Extended Metaphor: Sun “But mostly she [Janie] lived between her hat and her heels, with her emotional disturbances like shade patterns in the woods--come and gone with the sun. ” 76 → “And all that they said and did was refracted by her inattention and shot off towards the rimbones of nothing. ” 93
Extended Metaphor: Wind/ Storm “The one day she [Janie] sat and watched the shadow of herself going about tending store and prostrating itself before Jody, while all the time she herself sat under a shady tree with the wind blowing through her hair and her clothes. ” 77 “Anybody that didn’t know would have thought that things had blown over, it looked so quiet and peaceful around. But the stillness was the sleep of swords. ” 81 → “What need has Death for a cover, and what winds can blow against him? ” 84 “‘Shut up! Ah wish thunder and lightnin’ would kill you!’” -Jody talking to Janie, 86
Extended Metaphor: Hair “She [Janie] tore off that kerchief and let down her plentiful hair. The weight, the length, the glory was there. She took careful stock of herself, the combed her hair and tied it back up again. ” 87 “Before she [Janie] slept that night she burnt up every one of her head rags and went about the house next morning with her hair in one thick braid swinging well below her waist. ” 89
Extended Metaphor: Feet “But mostly she [Janie] lived between her hat and her heels, ” 76 “He [Jody} didn’t rear back in his knees any longer. He squatted over his ankles when he walked. ” 77 “Said things like “Mr. Starks need somebody tuh sorta look out for ‘im till he kin git on his feet again and look for hisself. ” But Jody was never to get on his feet again. ” 83 → “Death, that strange being with huge square toes that lived way in the West. ” 84 “Something stood like an oxen’s foot on her tongue, and then too, Jody, no Joe, gave her a ferocious look. ” 84 → “The icy sword of the square-toed one had cut off his breath and left his hands in a pose of agonizing protest. ” 87
Extended Metaphor: Seasons “Somebody near about making summertime out of lonesomeness. ” 77 “She [Janie] sent her face to Joe’s funeral, and herself went rollicking with the springtime across the world. ” 88 *
Extended Metaphor: Eyes “It didn’t seem to be part of him [Jody] anymore. Eyes a little absent, too. ” 77 “Don’t stand dere rollin’ yo’ pop eyes at me wid yo’ rump hangin’ nearly to yo’ knees!” 78 “‘You heard her [Janie], you ain’t blind, ’ Walter taunted. ” 79 “For what can excuse a man in the eyes of other men for lack of strength? Raggedy-behind squirts of sixteen and seventeen would be giving him merciless pity out of their eyes while their mouths said something humble. ” 80 → “She didn’t know that he was driven by a desperate hope to appear the old-time body in her sight. ” 82 “Weak-looking but sharp pointed about the eyes. ” 85 “His eyes buckled in a vacant-mouthed terror and saw the awful surprise in his face and answered it. ” 87
Extended Metaphor: Eyes, cont. “She asked if she wanted to leave and go back where she had come from and try to find her mother. Maybe tend to her grandmother’s grave. Sort of look over the old stamping ground generally. Digging around inside of herself like she found that she had no interest in that seldom -seen mother at all. ” 89 “Mr. Starks need somebody tuh sorta look out for ‘im till he kin git on his feet again and look for hisself. ” -People in Eatonville, 83
Extended Metaphor: Chicken “Now and again she [Janie] thought of a country road at sun-up and considered flight. ” Page 76 “It was always “You oughta throw something over yo’ shoulders befo’ you go outside. You ain’t no young pullet no mo’. You’se uh old hen now. ” Jody, 76 “A little sack hung from the corner of his [Jody] eyes and rested on his cheek-bones; a loose-filled bag of feathers hung from his ears and rested on his neck and beneath his chin. ” 81 → “A deep sob came out of Jody’s weak frame. It was like beating a bass drum in a hen-house. Then it rose high like pulling in a trombone. ” 86
Extended Metaphor: Buzzards “There was already something dead about [Jody]. He didn’t rear back in his knees any longer. He squatted over his ankles when he walked. That stillness at the back of the neck. His prosperous-looking belly that used to thrust out so pugnaciously and intimidate folks, sagged like a load suspended from his loins. It didn’t seem to be a part of him anymore. Eyes a little absent too. ” 77 “Stands watchful and motionless all day with his sword drawn back, waiting for the messenger to bid him come. Been standing there before there was a where or a when or a then. She was liable to find a feather from his wings lying in her yard any day now. ” 85 “People would not have dared to foot the place before crept in and did not come to the house. Just squatted under the trees and waited. Rumor, that wingless bird, had shadowed over the town. ” 84
Extended Metaphor: Water “The more people in [the store] the more ridicule he poured over her body to point attention away from his own. ” 78 “She and Pheoby Watson visited back and forth and once in awhile sat around lakes and fished. ” 93
Extended Metaphor: God “I god almighty! A woman stay round uh store till she get old as Methusalem and still can’t cut a little thing like a plug of tobacco!” - Jody, 78 “‘Great God from Zion!’ Sam Watson gasped, ‘Y’all really be playin’ de dozens tuhnight. ’” 79 “Janie had robbed him of his illusion of irresistible maleness that all men cherish, which was terrible. The thing Saul’s daughter had done to David. ” 79 “It ain’t always been too pleasant, ‘cause you know how Joe worships de works of his own hands, but God in heben knows Ah wouldn’t do one thing tuh hurt nobody. It’s too underhand mean. ” 82 → “When God had made The Man, he made him out of stuff that sung all the time and glittered all over. Then after that some angels got jealous and chopped him into millions of pieces, but still he glittered and hummed. ” 90 → “‘God never meant ‘em [women] tuh try tuh stand by theirselves. ’” -People in Eatonville, 90
Extended Metaphor: God, cont. “These medical doctors wuz all right with the Godly sick, but they didn’t know a thing about a case like his. ” 84 “‘And you could have [known me] but you was so busy worshippin’ de works of yo’ own hands, and cuffin’ folks around in their minds till you didn’t see uh whole heap uh things yuh could have. ’”Janie, 86 “‘All dis bowin’ down, all dis obedience under yo’ voice-- dat ain’t whut Ah rushed off down de road tuh find out about you. ’” 87 * “Then again the gold and red and purple, the gloat and the glamor of the secret orders, each with its insinuations of power and glory undreamed of by the uninitiated. People on farm horses and mules; babies riding astride of brothers’ and sisters’ backs. The Elks band ranked at the church door playing “Safe in the arms of Jesus” with such dominant drum rhythm that it could be stepped off smartly by the long line as it filed inside. The Little Emperor of the cross roads was leaving Orange County as he has come--with the out-stretched hand of power. ” 88
Extended Metaphor: God, cont. “One day as she came in the back door of the store she heard [Hezekiah] bawling at Tripp Crawford, “Naw indeed, we can’t do nothin’ of the kind! I god, you ain’t paid for dem last rations you done et up. I god, you won’t git no mo’ outa dis store than you got money tuh pay for. I god, dis ain’t Gimme, Florida, dis is Eatonville. ” 92 “They were all so respectful and stiff with her, that she might have been the Empress of Japan. They felt that it was not fitting to mention desire to the widow of Joseph Starks. You spoke of honor and respect. ” 93
Extended Metaphor: Blood “Then Jody Starks realized all the meanings and his vanity bled like a flood. Janie had robbed him of his illusion of irresistible maleness that all men cherish, which was terrible. ” 79 “‘Tuh think Ah been wid Jody twenty yeahs and Ah just now got tuh bear de name uh poisonin’ him! It’s ‘bout to kill me, Pheoby. Sorrow dogged by sorrow is in mah heart. ’” 83 → “Most humans didn’t love one another nohow, and this mislove was so strong that even common blood couldn’t overcome it all the time. ” 90
Extended Metaphor: Death “Tuh think Ah been wid Jody twenty yeahs and Ah just now got tuh bear de name uh poisonin’ him! It’s ‘bout to kill me, Pheoby. ” -Janie, 82 “Ah’m stone dead from standin’ still and tryin’ tuh smile. ” -Janie, 83 “When a man’s kidneys stop working altogether, there’s no way for him to live. ” -Doctor, 83 “He [Jody] wasn’t going to die at all. That was what he thought. ” 84 “So Janie began to think of Death, that strange being with the huge square toes who lived way in the West. The great one who lived in the straight house like a platform without sides to it, and without a roof. What need has Death for a cover, and what winds can blow against him? He stands in his high house and overlooks the world. Stands watchful and motionless all day with his sword drawn back, waiting for the messenger to bid him come. Been standing there before there was a where or a when or a then. She was liable to find a feather from his wings lying in her yard any day now. ” 84
Extended Metaphor: Death, cont. “Yeah, Jody, don’t keer whut dat multiplied cockroach told yuh tuh get yo’ money, yuh got tuh die, and yuh can’t live. ” Janie, 86 * “Janie! don’t tell me Ah got tuh die, and Ah ain’t used tuh thinkin’ ‘bout it. ” -Jody, 86 “Ah knowed you wasn’t gointuh listen tuh me. You changes everything but nothin’ don’t change you--not even death. But Ah ain’t goin’ outa here and Ah ain’t gointuh hush. Naw, you gointuh listen to me one time befo’ you die. Have yo’ way all yo’ life, trample and mash down and then die ruther than to let yo’self heah ‘bout it. Listen, Jody, you ain’t the Jody ah run off down de road wid. You’se whut’s left after he died. ” -Janie, 86 “Shut up! I wish thunder and lightnin’ would kill yuh!” -Jody, 86 * “Ah know it. And now you got tuh die tuh find out dat you got to pacify somebody besides yo’self if you wants any love and any sympathy in this world. ” -Janie, 86
Extended Metaphor: Death, cont. “The icy sword of the square-toed one [Death] had cut off his [Jody] breath and left his hands in a pose of agonizing protest. Janie gave them peace on his breast, the studied his dead face for a long time. ” 87 “Come heah people! Jody is dead. Mah husband is gone from me. ” -Janie, 87 “The funeral was going on outside. All things concerning death and burial were said and done. Finish. End. Nevermore. Darkness. Deep hole. Dissolution. Eternity. Weeping and wailing outside. Inside the black folds were resurrection and life. She [Janie] did not reach outside for anything, nor did the things of death reach inside to disturb her calm. ” 88 “Joe’s funeral was the finest thing Orange County had ever seen with Negro eyes. ” 88 “Joe ain’t been dead two months. Ain’t got settled down in his grave. ” -Janie, 91 → “‘Tain’t dat Ah worries over Joe’s death, Pheoby. Ah jus’ loves dis freedom. ” -Janie, 93
Extended Metaphor: Mule “‘Tuh think Ah been wid Jody twenty yeahs and Ah just now got tuh bear de name uh poisonin’ him! It’s ‘bout to kill me, Pheoby. Sorrow dogged by sorrow is in mah heart. ’” 83 “Ah’m stone dead from standin’ still and tryin’ tuh smile. ” -Janie, 83
Extended Metaphor: Dog, cont. “Something stood like an oxen’s foot on her tongue, and then too, Jody, no Joe, gave her a ferocious look. ” 84 “He gave a deep-growling sound like a hog dying down in the swamp trying to drive off the disturbance. ” 85
Extended Metaphor: Dog “He didn’t really hate Janie, but wanted her to think so. He had crawled off to lick his wounds. ” 81 “So she bought a beef-bone and made him soup. ” 82 → “Janie, Ah though maybe de thing would die down and you never would know nothin’ ‘bout it, but it’s been singin’ round here ever since de big fuss in de store dat Joe was ‘fixed’ and wuz de one dat did it. ” 82 “‘Tuh think Ah been wid Jody twenty yeahs and Ah just now got tuh bear de name uh poisonin’ him! It’s ‘bout to kill me, Pheoby. Sorrow dogged by sorrow is in mah heart. ’” 83 “‘Dat’s lie dat trashy nigger dat calls hisself uh two-headed doctor brought tuh ‘im order tuh git in wid Jody. ’” -Pheoby, 83 “He’d be alright just as soon as the two-headed man found what had been buried against him. ” 84
Extended Metaphor: Horizon “She [Janie] had been getting ready for her great journey to the horizons in search of people; it was important to all the world that she should find them and they find her. But she had been whipped like a cur dog, and run off down a back road after things. It was all according to the way you see things. Some people could look at a mudpuddle and see an ocean with ships. But Nanny belonged to that other kind that loved to deal in scraps. Here Nanny had taken the biggest thing God ever made, the horizon--for no matter how far a person can go the horizon is still way beyond you-- and pinched it in to such a little bit of a thing that she could tie it about her granddaughter’s neck tight enough to choke her. ” 89
Extended Metaphor: Ships → “Some people could look at a mud-puddle and see an ocean with ships. ” 89 “Every chance he got [Hezekiah] was reared back in Joe’s swivel chair trying to thrust out his lean belly into a paunch. ” 92
Extended Metaphor: Hands “How come you can’t talk about dat sometimes instead of always pointin’ at me? ” -Janie, 79 “So he [Jody] struck Janie with all his might and drove her from the store. ” 80 * “It ain’t always been too pleasant, ‘cause you know how Joe worships de works of his own hands, but God in heben knows Ah wouldn’t do one thing tuh hurt nobody. It’s too underhand mean. ” -Janie, 82 → “The Little Emperor of the cross-roads [Jody] was leaving Orange County as he come--with the out-stretched hand of power. ” 88
Describing Map Name: Janie Adjective: Liberated Definition: Showing freedom from social conventions or traditional ideas, especially with regard to gender roles ● Janie experiences the freedom to become head of her house after Jody dies and no longer has to live under his rule. Quote: “Before she slept that night she burnt up every one of her head rags and went about the house next morning with her hair in one thick braid swinging well below her waist. ” Page Number: 89 (Chapter 9) Literary Device: Metaphor, Imagery, Symbolism
Describing Map Janie- Analysis: When Jody was alive, Janie experienced severe levels of oppression. She was limited on what she could say, who she could speak to, what she could wear and how she could style her hair. After Jody dies Janie is free to do whatever she wants and dress as she pleases. Her hair is used as a metaphor to represent the level of oppression that Janie is experiencing. When she was with Jody and living in oppression, she wore hair in head rags, after Jody’s death, she wore hair in braids. This shows that while she is free from forced oppression, she hasn’t allowed herself to experience the full extent of freedom yet. It is also important to note that she didn’t fully have hair down and “swingin” until after Tea Cake dies. She wore her hair down around Tea Cake, but he always had his hands in her hair meaning she still allowed herself to experience some form of oppression even though she wasn’t forced to. She only experiences true freedom after Tea Cake dies, though she didn’t have to wait that long. The imagery in her burning the headrags is symbolic of her taking control of her own life. It shows that she now has the power to make her own decisions.
Describing Map Name: Jody Adjective: Bag-like Definition: Jody serves as a bag for Janie: something that is not much in substance but helps elevate her from her previous social status to one that allows her to a have respect. Quote: “Then too she noticed how baggy Joe was getting all over. Like bags hanging from an ironing board. ” Page Number: 81 Literary Device: Metaphor, Irony
Describing Map Jody- Analysis: Janie describes Jody as being “baggy all over, ” representing that he had lost some of the content that made him attractive to her in the beginning. Instead of being full of hope and opportunity for Janie, he began to only reflect emptiness and shallowness, that of which conveys his expired use for Janie. A bag is used to transport things from one place to another. Jody served much the same purpose for Janie. He transported her from her previous social status as the young wife of an ordinary man, to that of a mayor’s wife, gaining her more respect and admiration than would have been possible to achieve in her past life. By drawing the comparison to an “ironing board, ” it is implied that while Janie has been elevated, she has not achieved full independence yet. In the sections following Jody’s death, Janie is described as “ironing her face, ” in order to show the society what they expect a grieving woman to look like. She is not yet free from the pressures of society at this point in the novel.
Describing Map Name: House Adjective: Personal Definition: of or concerning one's private life, relationships, and emotions rather than matters connected with one's public or professional career Quote: “Six months of wearing black passed and not one suitor had ever gained the house porch. ” Page Number: 91 (Chapter 9) Literary Device: Metaphor, Irony
Describing Map Analysis: In the story, the house serves two main purposes: a reflection of Janie’s feelings, and the oppression forced on her by Jody. In the quote selected, Janie’s mind (and feelings inside it) are being represented. The fact that no man had “gained the house porch” shows that she hadn’t let any man near the most shallow parts of her mind. If they had gone inside, like Tea Cake does later, then they would have access to her more guarded thoughts and feelings. The local men prying for her money and power haven’t even gained so much as an opinion about them. Part of the reason for this is the house’s other representation: Jody’s oppression of Janie. With his death came the emptiness of the house, therefore the lack of a man and his will being present in her mind. The irony comes from the fact that a house is typically viewed as a safe place, but in this case the house, before Jody’s death, represented a place of oppression. People typically should be happy and feel safe in their home, but this isn’t true for Janie until after Jody dies, and arguably after Tea Cake dies.
Describing Map Name: Store Adjective: Prisonlike Definition: dreary and confining, or rigidly controlled ● When Janie worked in the store she felt like a prisoner to Jody. She was also “stored” there in the dark to be preserved until Jody’s death. Quote: “Then one day she sat and watched the shadow of herself going about tending the store and prostrating itself before Jody” Page Number: 77 (Chapter 7) Literary Device: Metaphor
Describing Map Store- Analysis: The store, while a physical place, represents different things for different people. For Jody, it is a source of God-like power. For Janie, the store serves as a prison. In the store Janie is forced to be behind the counter working while Jody gets to lord his power over her. He owns the store and gets the money and she is simply there as a pawn to him. The fact that she “watched the shadow of herself” shows how she feels detached from herself. In psychology, it is studied that prisoners feel a loss of self identity and become the “prisoner” identity that they are labelled (see Stanford Prison Experiment). Janie knows that she doesn’t want or deserve to be there but she doesn’t have the power to do anything about it. The store is a prison, not only for Janie but the people that shop there as well. They are ruled by the need to by supplies to live but have to buy according the prices set by Jody. They are prisoners to consumerism. All prisons have a warden and Jody is clearly the warden of the store which is indicated when everything is “prostrating” (submitting) to Jody.
Describing Map Name: Hezekiah Adjective: Imitative Definition: Copying or following a model or example ● Hezekiah copies the mannerisms and sayings of Jody after he dies Quote: “She almost apologized to the tenants the first time she collect the rents. Felt like usurper. But she hid that by sending Hezekiah who was the best imitation of Joe that his seventeen years could make. ” Page Number: 92 (Chapter 9) Literary Device: Foil
Describing Map After Jody’s death, Hezekiah picks up his way of speaking and develops similar mannerisms. While Janie feels guilty about doing something like collecting rent from her tenants, Hezekiah isn’t afraid to act like he is better than the rest of the townsfolk. Hezekiah doesn’t have the amount of power that Jody had, though, and Janie thinks that his likeness to her late husband is humorous. He attempts to act like a big brother towards Janie, despite the fact that he is younger, but he still has no power over her. Janie acts as though she doesn’t notice the way he is acting and doesn’t see it as a harmful thing. The main difference between Hezekiah and Jody is that people aren’t willingly submissive towards Hezekiah, which denies him power. Janie allows him to think that he has some, which seems to keep him content.
Literary Analysis: Dog A dog represents traditional manhood, or Jody in this section. ● ● At this point in the novel, Jody and the men around her are dogs, who are taking advantage of Janie But Janie is coming into her own, and progressing toward being a dog herself DOG: ● ● ● ● ● “Fixed” “Licks wounds” Can lash out Either domesticated or wild (rabid) Rely on humans Dog eat dog world Occupied with bones Get aggressive if don’t get what they want Want to be alpha Manhood: ● ● ● Men were supposed to be the strong, aggressive gender Duality of Man Fight for dominance Jody= alpha male of Eatonville Janie brings Jody a “beef bone” Act tough and independent but rely on women
Literary Analysis: Dog Quote: “He didn’t really hate Janie, but wanted her to think so. He had crawled off to lick his wounds. ” (81) Analysis: By “crawling off to lick his wounds, ” Jody is directly compared to an injured dog. Jody’s injury, arguably, is the injury in which Janie caused to his pride and his “manliness”. He was never an individual of much compassion or friendliness: his attraction was his ego, and his ability to persuade people to support his vision for the town of Eatonville. When Janie talked back, she fractured the image of him as a perfect leader and man. Dog, in this section, represents the idea and portrayal of manliness. Men were supposed to be tough and intelligent, with submissive wives. They were supposed to be independent. Manliness was a “man’s best friend, ” as possession of it was what helped them obtain higher social standing, and the admiration of other men in the town. In every pack of dogs, there is an alpha, and Jody was the “alpha” of Eatonville. But when Janie “fixed” him, and stripped away his image of manliness, his role as “alpha” became obsolete, as he was no longer the man every other man desired to be. Furthermore, through Hurston’s selection of the detail that Jody “. . . didn’t really hate Janie, but wanted her to think so, ” Jody is conveyed to be more fragile than his surface appears. He wants Janie to feel like she wronged him, and violated her duty as a trusting wife. While this detail doesn’t directly parallel to dog, it does represent a duality in Jody’s character. He is struggling between his love for Janie and his love of power in society. In this instance, Jody chooses power, in an attempt to salvage his “alpha” status even though Janie stripped his manliness away from him by standing up to him.
Literary Analysis: Hair: (Burning Head Rags) Freedom/Power: ● ● ● ● Sampson in the Bible had long hair that was the source of his strength Janie puts her hair back in braids in this chapter Janie burns the headrags after Jody dies Having hair up for extended periods of time can cause headaches Burning things often shows a personal cleansing ritual Janie is never mentioned as wearing her hair up again after this point in the book Women often (not always) care about their hair and how it looks ● ● ● ● Never gained fully at once, typically is achieved in stages Has to be achieved by some kind of action or event Something women in this time period strived for Lacking it creates a lot of pain (mentally and/or physically) People wear their freedom with pride Being free is like a weight being lifted off your shoulders The definition of power is the ability or right to control people or things Both freedom and power can occur in a group or on a personal level
Hair Continued Section Quote: “Before she slept that night she burnt up every one of her head rags and went about the house with her hair in one thick braid swinging well below her waist. ” Page 89 Analysis: Freedom is achieved by some form of action or event that must take place, whether internal or external. When Jody dies, Janie becomes free from the power he held over her and the restrictions he placed on her life. She gained her freedom both from the action of Jody no longer being physically present in her life, as well as having a mental change about her. Rather than imposing his restrictions on herself, she chooses to accept her freedom by burning the head rags and putting her hair into braids. While that was a literal act, it serves to symbolize the change going on inside her. The fact that she chose to wear her hair in a braid rather than fully down, is representative of her not fully accepting the freedom that is there. She isn’t allowing herself to experience full freedom, and that may be because she has to adjust because she has never been allowed to before now. There is no mention of Janie ever putting her hair back up in the story, but the fact that it is braided and she hasn’t explored full freedom redefines the relationship she has with Tea Cake. He puts his hands in her hair which shows that he can tell the power that Janie possesses but rather than her being free in it, he entangles himself in her freedom and she allows him to have power over her. It is only after his death that she allows herself and only herself to hold all the power. It is then that we learn she wears her hair all the way down and “swingin. ” With the notion of power, it is ironic to consider Sampson in the Bible. His source of strength and power came from his hair and he could keep that power so long as he didn’t cut his hair. When brought into this story it is ironic to consider because at the time women were not allowed to hold that much power. Yet, everyone around Janie was drawn to her hair which represents her power and freedom. The people around Janie were always noting the appearance of her hair and when she finally wore it down she got judged but she emanated power.
Literary Analysis: Death 1. Inevitable: Death comes for everyone. 2. Feared: People are often scared of death Change ● would always be the same and would suffer the same problems constantly. because they don’t really know what it is. 3. Natural: Death is part of life and is the fate of ● when death occurs. 5. Debated: People debate what death is like and if it is bad or good. 6. Impartial: Everyone living thing dies regardless of who or what it is. 7. Tragic: Death, especially on a large scale, is considered to be sad 8. Everywhere: Death happens all the time. Resisted: Some people disagree with change and want to prevent the things they are familiar with from becoming different or new. everything that lives. 4. Mysterious: No one is certain of what happens Vital: Change must happen, or else the world ● Controversial: People are constantly arguing on whether or not certain change is necessary. ● 3, 5 2, 4, 5 Desired: Everyone wants change, whether it’s a change in theirselves or a change in the world. ● Constantly occurring: Day and night, the seasons, the weather, people, countries, there is change everywhere at all times. 1, 8
Death continued Quote: “Janie! don’t tell me Ah got tuh die, and Ah ain’t used tuh thinkin’ ‘bout it. ” -Jody, 86 Despite the fact that Jody is seriously ill, he hasn’t thought much about the fact that he is going to die. Jody has been in a position of power for at least as long as he has been married to Janie, and has resisted all things that threatened his dominance. While he was alive, Jody made Janie wear her hair under rags and wouldn’t let her speak. He ridiculed Janie about her age to distract himself and others from his own insecurities, which were a threat to his tough and powerful persona. His attempt to resist the natural change in himself failed when Janie spoke out against him. By standing up for herself, Janie resisted her husband’s oppressive nature and she tore down his facade. Jody was unable to keep himself from changing and could not keep his position of power forever. He was unable to resist change, and he was unable to resist death. Jody’s death causes Janie to change. She is able to wear her hair down when she wants, she can speak when she likes, and she has more control over herself than she did before. Change and death are both everywhere. People constantly experience them, they make room in the world for new things, and people fear them because they lead to the unfamiliar.
Literary Analysis: Birds BUZZARDS: The buzzards represent the men in society, and the women represent chickens. ● ● ● Women want to be buzzards but are chickens. Both are the lowest forms of bird life. Birds are thought of as free and creatures that can fly over oceans to reach their horizon ● ● ● Seek trophies Wait on leader for signal Prey on and surround dead animals MEN: ● ● ● CHICKENS: ● ● ● Put in a place (coop) Can’t fly long distances Used for eggs Considered unintelligent Idiom: “Flew the coop” Surround Janie’s house once Jody gets sick Want to take Jody’s prize, namely Janie Take advantage of women sometimes WOMEN: ● ● Oppressed by men Aren’t able to reach the horizon easily Low social status Jody treats Janie like she has no business outside of the house of the store: her two coops
Literary Analysis: Birds, cont. Quote: “People would not have dared to foot the place before crept in and did not come to the house. Just squatted under the trees and waited. ” 84 Analysis: Birds have traditionally symbolized freedom in our society, creatures that can escape the pull of gravity and soar to endless “horizons. ” In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, ” however, the people are compared to buzzards and chickens, arguably two of the lowest, least desirable forms of bird life. Buzzards prey off of the remains of dead animals, while chickens remain stuck in “coops” and “hen houses, ” used by humans to produce food. After Jody’s death, the author draws a clear comparison between the behavior of the buzzards waiting for the death of the mule in chapter 6, and the behavior of the townsfolk waiting on the death of Jody. In each instance, the dying creature was surrounded, and once the leader signalled that the death had taken place, those who were gathered closed in, in an attempt to scavenge the trophies left behind by the dead. For the mule, the trophies left behind were meat, while for Jody, his trophies were Janie and his fortune. This can be seen when the author writes that the people “just squatted under trees and waited. ” The comparison of the public to buzzards represents the desire of society to advance their social standing through gossip. Just like when the people sat on the porch in the beginning of the novel gossiping about Janie’s return, the only benefit from being around Jody’s house at the time of his death was the first knowledge of it, which elevates you above anyone else who must hear the information second hand.
Literary Analysis: Birds, cont. Chickens cannot fly very well, and often live in coops with the sole purpose of providing food for humans. The comparison of Janie to a chicken reflects her limitations as an African American woman in this time period. She has been oppressed by men, in very much the same way that chickens are oppressed by humans. Hurston uses the word “house” to describe Janie’s abode in order to parallel Janie to a chicken in a coop. She has remained in the coop for most of her time with him, unable to have the freedom she desires. The “house” serves to separate Janie from the outside society. She has been literally placed in a box, and molded to be this image of the perfect, submissive wife. She was not allowed to have her own freedom, or escape the confines of the “house” around her, just as many chicken live their whole lives in coops. Furthermore, African American women were abused and treated as lesser forms of human life in this period, limiting their ability to reach the “horizon” (their dreams), just like the chickens who cannot fly well. Jody treats Janie like she has no business outside of the house and the store: her two metaphorical “coops. ” By juxtaposing Janie as a chicken, and the townsfolk as buzzards, the author conveys the irony that no one is entirely “free, ” but rather is subject to other constraints. Chicken are constrained by their coops, and buzzards are constrained by their need to scavenge information and trophies that gives their existence merit. Furthermore, the comparison of buzzards and chickens introduces yet another irony, which is that while women want to be buzzards, they are actually chickens, locked in their “coops” to benefit men. They want to be buzzards because of the comparable freedom that buzzards have, but ironically, buzzards are just as limited, but rather than by a coop, they are limited by the desire to fit in and be viewed in a positive light by others.