Reflection on Their Eyes were Watching God Chapter 13-15

Jun 7, 2011
by: XLiu

In chapter 13 of the book, Tea Cake “took” two hundred dollars from Janie just to throw a party, even more ridiculous part was that he pay ugly women two dollars to keep them away from entering the party. Janie waited all day for him only to have him come home with twelve dollars left and some terrible excuse (in my personal opinion). Tea Cake has his explanation on p147, he said:" Dem wuzn't no high muckty mucks. Dem wuz railroad handsanddey womenfolks. You ain't usetuh folkslak dat and Ah wuz skeered you might git all mad and quit me for takin' you 'mongst 'em. But Ah wanted yuh wid me jus' the same. Befo' us got married Ah made up mah mind not tuh let you see no commonness in me. When Ah git madhabits on, Ahd go off and keep it out yo' sight. I think this excuse doesn’t sound reasonable, Tea Cake is contradicting himself. Tea Cake said he didn’t ask Janie to come because he doesn’t want her to think he is as common as the railroad workers (he doesn’t want her to see the negative side of him), yet he “steal” the money from her.

Some of Tea Cake’s descriptions of the party he throw were unconvincing, things that doesn’t happen everyday, somehow happened on the same day. An example of what happened was on page 145 “Then two men tried to pick a fight with one another, so Tea Cake said they have to kiss and make up. They didn’t want to do it. They’d rather go to jail. But everyone else like the idea, so they made’ em do it. Afterwards, both of them spit and gagged and wiped their mouths with the back of their hands.”

Whatever happened seems to has no impact on Janie in the far run, Janie did think twice about her choice, she reminded herself of how the old woman Mrs.Tyler ran off with a young man, who took all of her money and left her. But then she thought to herself, she has extra money save in the bank, she'll not end up like the old woman, so she is not scare. Later on in chapter 13 on page150 " Janie told him about the other money she had in the bank.” further prove her trust toward him. Tea Cake did not disappoint Janie, his action on page 150 "he made her take the two hundred and put it back in the secret place” proves Tea Cake can get money if he wants to ( whether it’s really from gambling or not), it proves that his adventures are real (as fake as they might sound)

 After Janie heard Tea Cake describe when he gone through to her, she pouted and said “ you musta thought yo’ wife was powerful ugly. Dem ugly women dat you paid two dollars not to get in, could git tuh de door. You even ‘lowed me to git dat close” (page 146). Clearly, Janie mentioned nothing about the money he took from her, because she wasn’t mad at him for that, she was mad at Tea Cake for not taking her along with him. My point is further proven on page 147 when Tea Cake asked Janie: “So you aims tuh partake wid everything, hunh?”, and Janie responded with: “ Yeah, TeaCake don’t keer what it is.” From this quote Janie seems to say that she want to be with him, whether it’s through the happy time or the sad time, she just want to be a part of what he is a part of.

Throughout the whole, reader can see Janie grow both mentally and physically from a girl to a mature woman. After 2 failed marriages, Janie ran away with Tea Cake. Tea Cake was very different from the two men she was married to. Her first husband Logan always protests about how she is spoiled and wouldn’t do any work. Logan forced Janie to work, which only provokes Janie to run away with Jody. Similar to Logan, Jody forced Janie into doing something she is uncomfortable with, which was acting high class-like. Only Tea Cake understood Janie and allow her to be who she is, and only Tea Cake got Janie to work without forcing against her own will, as it was mentioned on page 156 “So the very next morning Janie got ready to pick beans along with Tea Cake. There was a suppressed murmur when she picked up a basket and went to work. She was already getting to be a special case on the muck. It was generally assumed that she thought herself too good to work like the rest of the women and that Tea Cake "pomped her up tuh dat." After meeting Tea Cake, the change in Janie begins to show slowly. Tea Cake slowly reveals to Janie who she is, and helped her realize what she wants. She began to do things that she would have never done before, she began to wear denim overalls instead of blue dresses. Page 157 clearly shows her development:
“Sometime Janie would think of the old days in the big white house and the store and laugh to herself. What if Eatonville could see her now in her blue denim overalls and heavy shoes?
Only here, she could listen and laugh and even talk some herself if she wanted to. She got so she could tell big stories herself from listening to the rest.”

At the end of chapter 15, it seems as if Janie is losing confidence in herself, or  her faith in Tea Cake,  or perhaps….. both. I personally thought it to be pretty funny how Tea Cake is worry that Janie will fall for Mrs.Turner’s brother and Janie is worry that he would fall for Nunkie. I think they both love each other a lot, but they are not confidence in one another. At this point, their relationship is full of guesses and doubts, it is being challenge by faith.