The given respect: chapter 10,11,12 of Their Eyes were Watching God

Discussion
May 9, 2011
by: XLiu

Reflection after read chapter 10,11,12 of Their Eyes were Watching God

Janie seems to have feeling toward Tea Cake the first time she saw him, even though she might not have notice it. I assume that Janie has feeling toward Tea Cake because of  what I read on page 116 “ He set it up and began to show her and she found herself glowing inside. Somebody wanted her to play. Somebody thought it natural for her to play. That was even nice. She looked him over and got little thrills from every one of his good points.” I think Janie was touched by Tea Cake’s move, because he done something that Jody has never bothered to try. Jody never bothered to teach Janie because he thought she is unworthy of it, he denied her the right. Tea Cake, however, treated her the way he would treat any other person, he did not underestimate her because she was a woman. Personally, I think the teaching of chess represents something special, it seems to represent respect, the thing that Jody never gave Janie.
I was pretty sure there is going to be something between Janie and Tea Cake when I saw the dialog on page 117 :“But Ah'll come teach yuh again. You gointuh be uh good player too, after a while."  " You reckon so? Jody tell me Ah never would learn. It wuz too heavy fuh mah brains." "Folks is playin' it wid sense and folks is playin' iy without. But you got good meant on yo' head. You'll learn." In the dialog, Tea Cake said he would come just to teach Janie how to play chess, I figure a man wouldn’t walk miles to somewhere just to teach a woman how to play chess, there has to be something more than that. The dialog above shows Janie that Tea Cake is everything Jody couldn’t be, which are the same things that Jody has always long for. Instead of saying “no, you can’t do it because you’re too dumb”, he said “ yes, try and I’ll teach you till you get it.”

A passage I like from chapter 11 is on page 123, “It was so crazy digging worms by lamp light and setting out for Lake Sabelia after midnight that she felt like a child breaking rules. That’s what made Jaanie like it. They caught two or three and got home just before day. Then had to smuggle Tea Cake out by the back gate and that made it seem like some great secret she was keeping from the town.”I like how the author compare the activities Janie done with Tea Cake to a child breaking rules, it reminds me of my childhood memories and allow me to feel the nervous yet excited sense that Janie felt. I also found it funny how author decide to use the word “smuggle” to show how Janie got Tea Cake out of the town.

I found another passage I like on page 132: “Tea Cake and Mrs.Mayor Starks! All the men she could get, and fooling with somebody like Tea Cake! Another thing, Joe Starks hadn’t been dead but nine months and here she goes sashaying off to a picnic in pink linen. Done quit attending church, like she used to. Gone off to Sandford in a car with Tea Cake and her all dressed in blue! It was a shame. Done took to high heel slippers and a ten dollar hat! Looking like some young girl.” This passage is part of the narrative, at first I was confuse about why the narrator made comments on what’s going on in the story. I then reread the passage and found it to be a passage gathered with the town people’s thought toward Janie dating a man 12 years younger than her. I’ve notice throughout this book, I’ve seen different people made the comment “looking like some young girl” toward Janie. The town people made the comment in the beginning of the book, Jody made the comment, and town people made the comment after she begin dating Tea Cake. I wonder there is some special meaning about this comment for it to appear so many times in the book.