A strange, yet an unbreakable bond (Chapters 16-18)

Jun 8, 2011

So far in Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston Janie met an interesting character named Mrs. Turner.  It became clear in Chapter 16 that Mrs. Turner strongly disliked the black race, and favored light skinned people.  It isn't clear to me how Janie met Mrs. Turner and how they are good friends.  This is because they have different views on mostly everything which makes their friendship interesting.  I soon realized that Janie's friendship with her was probably out of curiousity.  It came to my attention that Hurston wants us to know that Janie can be easily influenced. 

"You'se different from me.  Ah can't stand black niggers.  Ah don't blame de white folks from hatin' 'em 'cause Ah can't stand 'em mahself.  'Nother thing, Ah hates tuh see folks lak me and you mixed up wid 'em.  Us oughta class off."  Zora Neale Hurston shows us how Janie and Mrs. Turner are different and differentiate in views about certain things such as the black race. 

"So she didn't cling to Janie Woods the woman.  She paid homage to Janie's Caucasian characteristics as such.  And when she was with Janie she had a feeling of transmutation, as if she herself had become whiter and with straighter hair and she hated Tea Cake first for his defilement of divinity and next for his telling mockery of her."  This again shows the differentiating views between Janie and Mrs. Turner.  Mrs. Turner serves as a foil of the protagonist because her beliefs are almost opposite to Janie's.  

By Chapter 17, it became clear that Tea Cake disliked Mrs. Turner and wanted Janie to end her friendship with her.  Janie tried, but Mrs. Turner still passively ignored it and continued on.  On page 174, things got out of hand: "Well, both of yuh is goin! Tea Cake shouted and fastened fown on Coodemay.  Dockery grabbed Sterret and they wrassled all over the place.  Some more joined in and dishes and tables began to crash."

In Chapter 18, a hurricane threatened the area and caused everyone to flea.  Janie and Tea Cake decided to stay and face the crisis.  In the Chapter, I noticed how strong the bond between Janie and Tea Cake really is.  "They had to fight to keep from being pushed the wrong way and to hold together."  

"Once upon uh time, Ah never 'spected nothin', Tea Cake, but bein' dead from the standin' still and tryin' tuh laugh.  But you come 'long and made somethin' outa me.  So Ah'm thankful fuh anything we come through together."  This was Janie's response after Tea Cake saved her life.  Their bond became even stronger through this disaster.