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"Who ever heard of uh teacake bein’ called Mister! If you wanta be real hightoned and call me Mr. Woods, dat’s de way you feel about it. If yuh wants tuh be uh lil friendly and call me Tea Cake, dat would be real nice." (10.58)
The dropping of formal titles in discourse marks the breaking down of certain social barriers – like the coldness of addresses between two people who do not know each other very well. Tea Cake wants to close that social distance between himself and Janie linguistically by getting rid of the formal "Mister" title. He hopes that will allow him to get more intimate with Janie.