- Slides: 27
Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston Ch. 19 -20 Alycia Hunter, Brynn Price, Jonathan Ervin
Plot (Ch. 19) ❏ ❏ ❏ In Palm Beach, after the hurricane, Tea Cake ventures out to find work, but he is forced the help bury the dead by two white men. He finds a way to escape and bolts back to the house and Janie. Tea Cake and Janie plan to leave and return to the muck. where he gets a job cleaning up things. Tea Cake also buys a rifle and a pistol so he and Janie could practice shooting. A few weeks after the hurricane, Tea Cake begins to feel sick with headaches and has instances where he chokes and gags. Tea Cake’s sickness progresses and he eventually gets mad at Janie, trying to kill her with a pistol. However, she is prepared and counters his attack by killing him first with her rifle. After spending three hours in jail, Janie goes to court and is found not guilty for her husband's death by the white jury. She buries her husband on West Palm Beach. Sop and his friends join her at the funeral.
Plot (Ch. 20) ❏ Sop-de-Bottom, along with Tea Cake’s other friends, chooses to forgive Janie after “two long days” of anger and strain against her. ❏ They “beg” Janie to stay in the Everglades, and she did for a few weeks. However, she chooses to go back to Eatonville. ❏ Janie concludes the story of her life to Pheoby, describing her present satisfaction to be home, as well as a metaphor between love & the sea. They share a hug following a period of silence. ❏ Janie returns to her old bedroom to sit and reflect about everything she had told Pheoby. ❏ Janie feels as though Tea Cake is making his presence known through the “song” that the wind produced in the pine trees. She feels as though he is not dead until she stops thinking pf him. A peace washes over her, and she “invites” her soul to come and witness it.
Extended Metaphors Medicine Horizon Dog/Dawg Sun Feet Seeds Gun/Bullet Darkness/Flesh Throat Bedroom Water Mouth
Gun & Bullet ● ● ● “Dat’s jus’ who it is. Ole Motor! De son of a gun laid up in dat house and slept and de lake come moved de house way off somewhere and Motor didn’t know nothin’ ‘bout it till de storm wuz ‘bout over. ” (173) “They were there with their tongues cocked and loaded, the only real weapon left to weak folks. ” (185 -186) “He paid no more attention to the pointing gun than if it were Janie’s dog finger. ” (184) “Tea Cake crumpled as his bullet buried itself in the joint over Janie’s head. ” (184) “. . . a devoted wife trapped by unfortunate circumstances who really in firing a rifle bullet into the heart of her late husband did a great act of mercy. ” (187) “The day of the gun, and the bloody body, and the court-house came and commenced to sing a sobbing sigh of every corner in the room…” (192)
Feet & Road ● ● ● ● “‘Lawd!’ Pheoby breathed out heavily. ‘Ah done growed ten feet higher from jus’ listenin’ tuh you, Janie. ’” (192) “‘Aw ain’t dat bad, Janie. Looka heah! Ah kin walk all over de place. ’” (174) “‘We wuz caught in dat hurricane out heah, and Tea Cake over-strained hisself swimmin' such uh long time and holdin' me up too, and walkin' all dem miles in de storm and then befo' he could git his rest he had tuh come git me out de water agin. ’” (176) “Janie stirred her strong feet in the pan of water. ” (191) “‘Git on down de road dere, suh! Don’t look out somebody’ll be buryin’ you!’” (170) “She ran down the road just as fast as she could. ” (179) “She closed in and sat down. Combing road-dust out of her hair. Thinking. ” (192) “And then again Him-with-the-Square-Toes had gone back to his house. ” (168)
Chicken ● “She could knock the head off of a chicken-hawk sitting up a pine tree.
Plants & Seeds ● “‘Maybe it wuz uh witch ridin’ yuh, honey. Ah’ll see can’t Ah find some mustard seed whilst Ah’s out. ’” (175) ● “She had given away everything in their little house except a package of garden seed that Tea Cake had bought to plant. The planting never got done because he had been waiting for the right time of the moon… The seeds reminded Janie of Tea Cake more than anything else because he was always planting things… Now that she was home, she meant to plant them for remembrance. ” (191)
Sun/Light ● “The light in her hand was like a spark of sun-stuff washing her face in fire. ” (192) ● “Then Tea Cake came prancing around her where she was and the song of the sigh flew out of the window and lit in the top of the pine trees. Tea Cake, with the sun fora shawl. ” (193) ● “The sun was almost down and Janie had seen the sun rise on her troubled love and then she had shot Tea Cake…. ” (188) ● “Tea Cake was the son of the Evening Sun and nothing was too good. “ (189) (B) ● “Then the band played, and Tea Cake rode like a Pharaoh to his tomb. ” (189)
Throat ● ● ● ● “Tea Cake took it and filled his mouth then gagged horribly, disgorged that which was in his mouth and threw the glass upon the floor. ” (174) “‘Somethin’ got after me in mah sleep, Janie” He all but cried, “Tried tuh choke me tuh death…’” (174) “But the demon was there before him, strangling, killing him quickly. ” (175) “‘Dat water is somethin’ wrong wid it. It nelly choke me tuh death. ’” (175) “Way in the midnight he woke Janie up in his nightmarish struggle with an enemy that was at his throat. ” (174) “. . . stay out of his way when he gets in one of his fits of gagging and choking. ” (177) “What was thing that set his brains afire and grabbed at his throat with iron fingers? ” (178) “He gave her a look full of blank ferocity and gurgled in his throat. ” (182)
Water ● ● ● ● “As soon as he got a little fever from the water, she took up with another man. ” (187) “His pale white horses had galloped over waters, and thundered over land. ” (168) “They were under houses, tangled in shrubbery, floating in water, hanging in trees, drifting under wreckage. ” (170) “‘So de white man figger dat anything less than de Uncle Sam’s consolidated water closet would be too easy. ’” (172) “‘Gimme uh drink uh water befo’ you leave, then. ’ Janie dipped up a glass of water and brought it to the bed. ” (174) “‘Whut make you ack lak dat wid yo’ drinkin’ water, Tea Cake? You ast me tuh give it tuh yuh. ’” (175) “‘Dat water is somethin’ wrong wid it. It nelly choke me tuh death. ’” (175)
Water (cont. ) ● ● ● ● “He was accusing her of carelessness. She ought to realize that water buckets needed washing like everything else. ” (175) “It was a great relief to expel the water from his mouth. ” (175) “‘Nothin’ ‘cept workin’ and gamin’ uh little, doctah. But look lak water done turn’t aginst me. ’” (176) “‘DIs is somethin’ new, doctah. Ah figgers de water is yet bad. It’s bound tuh be. ’” (176) “‘People in his condition can’t swallow water, you know, and in other ways it’s terrible. ’” (178) “He wanted to try to drink water again but he didn’t want her to see him fail. ” (178) “He leaped at the bucket at once. But this time the sight of the water was enough. ” (179) “Saw the ferocious look in his eyes and went mad with fear as she had done in the water that time. ” (184)
Mouth ● “Tea Cake took it and filled his mouth then gagged horribly, disgorged that which was in his mouth and threw the glass upon the floor. ” (174) “It was a great relief to expel the water from his mouth. ” (175) ● “But something Sop had told him made his tongue lie cold and heavy like a dead lizard between his jaws. ” (179) ● “Janie struggled to a sitting position and pried the dead Tea Cake’s teeth from her arm. ” (184) (B) ● “If you know what’s good for you, you better shut your mouth up until somebody calls you. ” (187) ● “‘And listenin' tuh dat kind uh talk is jus' lak openin' yo' mouth and lettin' de moon shine down yo' throat. ’” (192)
Horizon ● “‘So Ah’m back home agin and Ah’m satisfied tuh be heah. Ah done been tuh de horizon and back and now Ah kin set heah in mah house and live by comparisons. ’” (191) ● “Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes!” (193)
Medicine ● ● ● ● “‘All right, Tea Cake. Ah’ll send you some medicine and tell Janie how tuh take care of you. ’” (176) “She made up her mind to go see about that medicine from Palm Beach. Maybe she could find somebody to drive her over there for it. ” (179) “‘Ah’ll phone into Palm Beach right away for the serum which he should of had three weeks ago. ’” (177) “‘Pretty bad off. Ah’m gointuh see ‘bout medicine fuh ‘im right now. ’” (179) “‘Dat wuz cause Ah wuz tryin’ not tuh let yuh worry ‘bout yo’ condition. De doctah sent after some mo’ medicine and Ah went to see if it come. ’” (180) “She saw him coming from the outhouse with a queer loping gait, swinging his head from side to side and his jaws clenched in a funny way. This was too awful! Where was Dr. Simmons with that medicine? ” (183) “Treat Tea Cake like he was some mad dog when nobody in the world had more kindness about them. All he needed was for the doctor to come on with that medicine. ” (183) “‘Tea Cake, honey! Go lay down! Ah’ll be too glad tuh be in dere wid yuh de minute de doctor say so. Go lay back down. He’ll be heah wid some new medicine right away. ’” (183)
Dog ● ● ● “Maybe when they saw he had money they would realize he was not a tramp” (169) “She was glad she was here to look after him. Folks would do such mean things to her Tea Cake if they saw him in such a fix. Treat Tea Cake like some mad dog when nobody in the world had more kindness about them. ” (183) “He paid no more attention to the pointing gun than if it were Janie’s dog finger” (184) (B) “He worked like a dog for her and nearly killed himself saving her in the storm, then soon as he got a little fever from the water, she had took up with another man. ” (186) “She tried to make them see how terrible it was that things were fixed so that Tea Cake couldn't come back to himself until he had got rid of that mad dog that was in him and he couldn't get rid of the dog and live. He had to die to get rid of the dog. ” (187)
Dawg ● “Well, she thought, that big old dawg with the hatred in his eyes had killed her after all. ” (178) ● “Ah can't stand de idea us tyin' Tea Cake lak he wuz uh mad dawg. ” (177) ● "Janie, I'm pretty sure that was a mad dawg bit yo' husband. It's too late to get hold of de dawg's head. ” (177) ● We wuz caught in dat hurricane out heah, and Tea Cake over-strained hisself swimmin' such uh long time and holdin' me up too, and walkin' all dem miles in de storm and then befo' he could git his rest he had tali come git me out de water agin and fightin' wid dat big ole dawg and de dawg bitin"im in de face and everything. Ah been spectin' him tuh be sick befo' now. ""Dawg bit 'im, did you say? " (176)
Darkness/Flesh ● ● ● “She had to hug him tight for soon he would be gone, and she had to tell him for the last time. Then the grief of outer darkness descended. ” 184 “Pheoby hugged Janie real hard and cut the darkness in flight. ” 192 “The light in her hand was like a spark of sun-stuff washing her face in fire. Her shadow behind fell black and headlong down the stairs. ” 192 “She was trying to hover him as he closed his teeth in the flesh of her forearm. They came down heavily like that. Janie struggled to a sitting position and pried the dead Tea Cake's teeth from her arm. ” 184 “Dem meatskins is got tuh rattle tuh make out they's alive. ” 192 (B)
Bedroom ● ● ● ● “He sprawled on the bed again and lay there shivering until Janie and the doctor arrived. ”Pg 175 "All right, Tea Cake. Ah'll send you some medicine and tell Janie how tuh take care of you. Anyhow, I want you in a bed by yo'self until you hear from me. Just you keep Janie out of yo' bed for awhile, hear? ” Pg 176 “She petted him, soothed him, and got him back to bed. ” Pg 179 “She sat on the side of the bed and sort of rocked him back to peace. ” Pg 180 “Janie said archly and fixed him back in bed. It was then she felt the pistol under the pillow. It gave her a quick ugly throb, but she didn't ask him about it since he didn't say. Never had Tea Cake slept with a pistol under his head before. "Neb' mind 'bout all dat cleanin' round de front yard, " he told her as she straightened up from fixing the bed. "You stay where Ah kin see yuh. "Pg 181 "How come you ruther sleep on uh pallet than tuh sleep in de bed wid me? " Pg 183 “Dis house ain't so absent of things lak it used tuh be befo' Tea Cake come along. It's full uh thoughts, 'specially dat bedroom. ” Pg 191 “The day of the gun, and the bloody body, and the court-house came and commenced to sing a sobbing sigh out of every corner in the room; out of each and every chair and thing. ” Pg 192
Janie “Ah Loves him fit tuh kill. ” pg 177 Clouded - Underneath all the “clouds” she knows that in order for her to truly be free, to escape the confines of what she once thought the horizon should be, she needs to kill Tea Cake. Devices: Irony, Paradox Janie grew up with notion of finding true love as a major goal. With her late husband Tea Cake it seemed she had finally reached an elevated position she could only dream of. As a result Janie is clouded by the desires of childhood preventing her from pursuing the needs of her adulthood. True enlightenment lies in elevating the self, and taking power in individuality. The paradox of loving someone to the point you could kill them reveals the irony surrounding Tea Cake’s death. Also begs the question of who is going to end up dead. Relays back to the absolute submission Janie has around Tea Cake allowing him to beat the shit out of her. The love she has for him may end up getting Janie killed should she remain hidden behind the ‘clouds’ of her life. The irony when Janie says “Ah loves him fit tuh kill” indicates her inability to see freedom beyond Tea Cake, she doesn’t know she will eventually kill him. In the end this love she has leads to the strength to kill the person her husband had become. A truly devastating action that indicates the love mentioned isn’t just the love she has for Tea Cake but rather the kindlings of this self love. A taboo emotion for women at the time who were supposed to exist through their families.
Janie “. . . the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So help her God. They all leaned in to listen while she talked. ” pg 187 Resolute - Janie has received a new kind of strength after killing Tea Cake. She has fully realized the power she holds as an individual able to look beyond societal constraints and is unwavering in her realization. She’s determined to live life. Devices: Syntax, Imagery, metaphor Tea Cake’s death was a major transition point for Janie. The courtroom is the first time we see her utilizing this power she’s been cultivating throughout the novel. First the syntax of the court oaths typical arrangement isolating “so help her god”. This signifies her singularity above the others in society at the time and the social isolation likely to follow. She is directly likened to a god because her personal enlightenment is so unabashedly alien. Her transformation to the woman we meet at the beginning is complete. Everyone in the packed courtroom is leaning in, almost suffocating but unable to truly reach her, they care about what she has to say about her story for the first time. Ties into the metaphor of the throat equating to voice and power. Demonstrates the power she’s received through her life of poor husbands and discovering the truth behind childhood dreams. Her voice (her story) holds power over everyone in the courtroom including herself for the first time. Janie is following her own voice rather than reducing herself to a puppet for the sake of man.
Tea Cake “But to kill her through Tea Cake was too much to bear. Tea Cake, the son of Evening Sun, had to die for loving her. ” Pg 178 Instrumental- Janie loved Tea Cake and although he was very abusive, he was the crucial tool and agent that Janie had to kill to move towards fulfiling her dream. Devices: Metaphor Janie described Tea Cake metaphorically as “the son of Evening Sun” to show that she had to kill him and his death gave her great strength to move on towards her dreams. The Evening Sun is refering to sunset and the transition period that comes between night and day, just as the death of Tea Cake allowed Janie to send her life in the direction that she wanted it to go. This notion that Tea Cake helped Janie bridge the gap between light and darkness in her life shows that he was crucial to her and even though he was jealous of her, he unintentionally helped her unleash the power that was always inside of her. The sunset Tea Cake was described as comes at a time where the light of sun was fading and Tea Cake was the sun, so fittingly the Evening Sun is a metaphor for his death and the start of darkness that is the empowerment of Janie.
The Gun “The day of the gun, and the bloody body, and the court-house came and commenced to sing a sobbing sigh of every corner in the room…” (192) Disenthralling (to set free) - All along, Janie had been confined to her dream of “true love” without her own recognition. The gun used to kill Tea Cake broke her from the bonds of her perceived dream life. Devices: Metaphor, anaphora Holidays such as “Martin Luther King Jr. Day” or “D-Day” have one similar aspect in both of their names that defines their specific holiday. The word “day” is named after the most important thing that occurred on that specific day or something of great importance. “Day of the Gun” rather than “Day of Tea Cake’s Death” reveals Janie’s lingering regret in squashing her childhood dream of finding “true love. ” The gun is a physical manifestation of her power as an individual, that of which was not shown to her until she shot and killed Tea Cake. The repetition seen in “. . . and the bloody body, and the court-house came and commenced to sing…” symbolizes Janie’s reaction to her newfound liberation. At this time, she probably could not form coherent thoughts after she had murdered her husband recognized a new revolutionary freedom of hers as an individual.
Medicine “Treat Tea Cake like he was some mad dog when nobody in the world had more kindness about them. All he needed was for the doctor to come on with that medicine. ” (183) Hopeful - Despite all signs that Tea Cake was on the verge of self-destruction and eventual death, Janie placed the medicine prescribed by Dr. Simmons on an extreme pedestal of hope, longing for Tea Cake to be the man that she’d hoped to find. Devices: Metaphor, Irony Having searched for true love throughout her adult life with two failed marriages, Janie is desperate to save the only man she has left in her life, Tea Cake. The irony within this can be seen when Janie scoffs at the people who would think of him as a mad dog, praising his exponential “kindness. ” While Tea Cake did treat Janie somewhat better than her other two ex-husbands, it appears as though Janie completely forgets about Tea Cake previously beating her, stealing her money, and lying to her. However, she wants this romance with Tea Cake to last, justifying Tea Cake’s gradually violent behavior with a simple “if only he had some medicine. ” The medicine represents Janie’s hope for Tea Cake’s symptoms, comparable to his wrongdoings towards Janie, to obliterate themselves, so Janie could finally stop searching for a man who will bring her full contentment. Yet, as it turns out, to find this contentment within herself, she has to kill Tea Cake.
Throat Metaphor “What was thing that set his brains afire and grabbed at his throat with iron fingers? ” Pg 178 “Way in the midnight he woke Janie up in his nightmarish struggle with an enemy that was at his throat” pg 174 “Commenced to sing, commenced to sob and sing, singing and sobbing. ” pg 192 First the throat is compared to a brain and the “thing” with iron fingers is Janie's Voice. It’s cutting off Tea Cakes Throat to prevent his thoughts and ideas from coming out of Janie's mouth. Illustrates the strength of Janie's voice. The inclusion of iron makes the spiritual strength Janie possess into something more tangible and a literal manifestation of her taking matters into her own hands. The struggles surrounding the throat, choking, gagging, indicate the power struggle occuring Janie and Tea Cake as Janie unknowingly begins clawing her way to independence. Tea Cakes nightmares and restlessness is that of someone knowing they’re cornered as he is unable to escape Janie’s inevitable rise to self-love. The enemy is quite literally Janie’s independence as it threatens the comfortable life and power balance they’ve created in their marriage. Waking Janie from sleep symbolizes his last attempts at separating her from her sub concious where her true desires and voice lie waiting. Janie then utilizes her own voice for the first time with singing and crying, both very different uses. Singing demonstrates the control she has, melodious and harmonious connotations to show natural it is to use one’s voice. Sobbing is the release. Years of pent of thoughts emotions and individuality forcing itself up to the surface. This is the final step in Janie taking the reigns on her power as an individual woman with the concept of self and the bravery to follow through.
Gun/Bullet Metaphor “They were there with their tongues cocked and loaded, the only real weapon left to weak folks. ” (185 -186) “. . . a devoted wife trapped by unfortunate circumstances who really in firing a rifle bullet into the heart of her late husband did a great act of mercy. ” (187) “The day of the gun, and the bloody body, and the court-house came and commenced to sing a sobbing sigh of every corner in the room…” (192) The description of the courtroom’s readiness to give punishment against Janie for slaying Tea Cake compares a loaded gun to tongues/mouths (verbal abuse, verbal restriction). Prior to Janie killing Tea Cake, the gun symbolized the restriction Janie unknowingly placed upon herself from her own power as an individual, with a bullet being her last “shot” at finding true love within herself, rather than in Tea Cake or any other man. The day of Tea Cake’s death, the gun was comparable to the physical manifestation of Janie’s power as an individual, which had not been revealed to her until after she shot Tea Cake, the bullet being Janie’s infiltration of her dreams (Tea Cake) that placed more pressure on her to find “true love” more than they did encourage her and drive any ambition. The judge’s mention of Janie as a “devoted wife” served as a depiction of what Janie truly was before Tea Cake was killed by the gun. Yes, she was a individual woman with goals and dreams, but her being married to Tea Cake trapped her within the confinements of being a wife, and just that. It can be inferred that Tea Cake truly did love Janie, albeit his faults were significant, as the rifle’s bullet was shot in his heart, no place else. The heart typically symbolizes ones love and cherishment for friends, family, and romantic partners. Janie shooting this specific part of Tea Cake represents her shooting (destroying) her past hopes (medicine) for Tea Cake to live. It is often said that when two people get married, they become one, so Janie found her heart within Tea Cake’s as well. The “Day of the Gun” represents the gun as a significant event rather than a tangible object, heightening the importance of the gun’s presence on the day of Tea Cake’s death. Had the gun not been purchased, Janie’s transition from a wife under husband’s control to a individual grown woman may have been delayed or even nonexistent.
Janie’s Horizon Metaphor “So Ah'm back home agin and Ah'm satisfied tuh be heah. Ah done been tuh de horizon and back and now Ah kin set heah in mah house and live by comparisons. ” Pg 191 “She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see. ” Pg 193 The Horizon is Janie’s wishes, dreams, and how she wants to improve her life although she doesn’t exactly know what they are. Throughout the novel, Janie begins to focus more on her self by learning how to live on her own and provide without the need of a man. Her decision to kill Tea Cake even though she loved him also shows that he wasn’t absolutley vital to her life and that she could live and find happiness without him. This happiness that she was trying to find was her horizon and Tea Cake did help her get there by doing things like teaching Janie how to fish, hunt, play checkers and do things that a man can do. The horizon is used metaphorically to show it has taken Janie almost her entire life to achieve her dream because actually traveling to the horizon and back takes an endless amount of time. The horizon is always their and therefore it makes for an accurate exaggeration of how many marriages and years of being told what to that it took for her to gain her freedom. Janie’s horizon is also being compared to a fish that is being captured by a fish net and the significance of this is that the fish are always out swimming in the ocean and at any point they can be captured much like how her horizon or where she wanted her life to go was always out there, it just took her three marriages and the death of her beloved husband to realize or capture her dream. Janie’s dream is much bigger than one fish, she requires more than just a the fishing rod that she used in the first chapters to pull in the fish as her horizon has grown and it is so large that she needs a ship and the fish net that she describes.