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Their Eyes Were Watching God

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S: Their Eyes Were Watching God

BC: Their Eyes Were Watching God

FC: Their Eyes Were Watching God | By: Jensen Matese

1: "The wind came back with triple fury, and put out the light for the last time. They sat in company with the others in other shanties, their eyes straining against crude walls and their souls asking if He meant to measure their puny might against His. They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God."

2: This story begins on a hot summer day in Eatonville, Florida, a community mostly populated by black people. A middle-aged black woman, named Janie Starks, is seen returning to town wearing muddy overalls. The townspeople gather on a porch and gossip about how she ran off with a younger man, Tea Cake. Pheoby Watson, Janie's best friend, criticizes the women on their mean gossiping and stick up for her best friend Janie. Later, she visits Janie at her home and bring her some food. Janie then begins to tell Pheoby her story starting back when she was a little girl.

3: Janie begins her story with how she was raised. Janie was raised by her grandmother, Nanny, because her mother had ran away after giving birth to Janie. Janie had never met her mom or dad. Nanny was born into slavery, and had always wanted Janie to not be treated as she once had. Nanny dedicated her life to Janie to make she she had a better life than she had.

4: Janie isn't very excited about her arranged marriage with the wealthy, but gross Logan Killicks. | Guess what? You're getting married...

5: When Janie was sixteen, she always sat underneath the blossoming pear tree in her front yard. One day, she kissed a boy named Johnny Taylor. Nanny catches Janie kissing Johnny, and she quickly decides Janie should marry a middle-aged wealthy farmer named Logan Killicks. Nanny wants Janie to marry someone who can provide her with security and social status because of the lack of security she had when she was born into slavery. So then Nanny arranges for Janie and Logan to marry. Janie is absolutely miserable being married to Logan! He is unromantic, unlike what Janie desires to have in a husband. Logan starts bugging Janie saying she needs to start helping around the farm instead of always being in the kitchen. One day, when Logan goes off into town to buy a mule for Janie, Janie meets a young determined man named Joe Starks from Georgia. Janie learns that Joe plans to travel to Eatonville, Florida, a new town being built up by blacks. Janie decides to run off with Joe in hope for a new and better marriage where she can be happy. Janie demonstrates her independence when she gather s up her courage to finally leave Logan.

6: Janie and Joe arrive in Eatonville. When they get there, Joe speaks to two men, Lee Coker and Amos Hicks. Joe learns that Eatonville sits on only fifty acres, and shows off by buying an extra two hundred more acres in cash to expand and build Eatonville. | Joe soon succeeds to become mayor, postmaster, and storekeeper. Janie runs the store that they had built together. Although she would rather be having fun with the townspeople, Joe makes her stay inside and keeps her from going to community events. | When Janie first married Joe, she thought she had it all. She thought Nanny would be pleased with her newfound security and social status. As years pass, Janie realizes her love life with Joe is quickly fading. Joe forces her to tie up her hair, and eventually hide her real self.

7: After almost twenty years of being together, Janie is still secure, but is also very unhappy with the path her and Joe's relationship has taken. Joe gets even more physically and verbally abusive towards Janie. Janie asserts her independence when she stands up for herself against Joe. Eventually, age catches up with Joe and he falls ill. Janie is by Joe's side when he finally passes away. As a symbol of her newfound freedom, she lets her hair down. At his funeral, she wears all black and a sad face. On the inside, she's actually is happy and excited to return to her life before Joe became so dictatorial.

8: After Joe's passing, Janie is enjoying her single life. Her independence had made her happier than her life with Joe ever did! It's almost two months after Joe's passing when Pheoby mentions that she still should be mourning for her loss. Janie says that if she doesn't feel sadness, she shouldn't pretend to show it.

9: Here comes Tea Cake | Soon enough, a young man named Tea Cake trudges into town. Tea Cake is at least twelve years younger than Janie! Janie falls for him fast, despite their age difference, but its careful not to jump into another marriage so fast. Despite the townspeople's gossip, Janie begins dating Tea Cake. She learns how much fun she has missed out on while married to Joe. Tea Cake even takes her fishing in the middle of the night and teaches her checkers. Joe never allowed her to play checkers or go fishing!

10: Nine months later, Janie and Tea Cake decide to marry. Janie sells her store and leaves with Tea Cake to go to the Everglades. Janie can tell in her heart that this is what true love is supposed to be like. | During the first week of their marriage, Tea Cake is already giving Janie a bad impression. He steals her money and leaves her alone for one night making Janie think their marriage is over with.

11: But Tea Cake redeems himself. He gambles back the money he stole from Janie. Soon comes the harvest season, and Tea Cake and Janie go to work together. Two years after they marry, a terrible hurricane strikes the Everglades. While most of the townsfolk took cover and evacuated, Janie and Tea Cake stayed behind thinking they could wait out the storm. But even worse tragedy strikes... | The Hurricane

12: As their home is swept away from the dangerously flooding waters, Tea Cake and Janie desperately try to find one another in the storm. To prevent herself from drowning, she grabs onto a nearby cow's tail. What she doesn't realize is that there is a rabid dog on top of the swimming cow! The dog tries to attack Janie. Janie screams for Tea Cake, and he comes to her rescue before the dog can attack Janie. As a result of his heroism for saving Janie, the rabid dog bites Tea Cake on the arm. Little does Tea Cake know that he is now infected with rabies...

13: As the storm ends and the water recedes, the couple returns to their home. Three weeks after the storm, Tea Cake begins to fall ill. When caring for him, Janie finds a loaded pistol underneath Tea Cake's pillow. Afraid that he will kill her, Janie sets back the pistol three shots so she will be ready if he fires at her. Soon, Tea Cake convinces himself that Janie is cheating on her. He grabs his pistol and fires twice at Janie. The failed second shot was her signal to grab a nearby gun and kill Tea Cake. Janie later goes on trial for murder, however, Janie is found not guilty but the all-white jury. With that, she returns to Eatonville because the Everglades reminds her too much of her lost true love, Tea Cake. | The End

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  • By: Jensen M.
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  • Title: Their Eyes Were Watching God
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  • Published: over 5 years ago