Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God Chapter 13 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
[Tea Cake]: "Put dat two hundred back wid de rest, Janie. Mah dice. Ah no need no assistance tuh help me feed mah woman. From now on, you gointuh eat whutever mah money can buy uh and wear de same. When Ah ain’t got nothin’ you don’t git nothin’."
"Dat’s all right wid me." (13.76-77)
Tea Cake demonstrates his strong sense of masculinity by making "[his] woman," Janie, financially dependent on him. He takes pride in being able to provide for a woman who has lived such a privileged life. Although Janie never seems conflicted about living a poor life with Tea Cake, she kind of has to agree to live by what he provides or severely damage his pride.
He [Tea Cake] drifted off into sleep and Janie looked down him and felt a self-crushing love. So her soul crawled out from its hiding place. (13.83)
The image of Tea Cake sleeping brings on a wave of nurturing, maternal love in Janie. This love is so overwhelming and selfless that it is "self-crushing" and it puts to rest any fears Janie might have of the intensity of her love. So this makes it safe for her battered soul to "crawl…out from its hiding place" and make herself vulnerable to Tea Cake.
[Janie]: "Still and all you went off and left me all day and all night."
[Tea Cake]: "Twasn’t ‘cause Ah wanted tuh stay off lak day, and it sho Lawd, wuzn’t no woman. If you didn’t have de power tuh hold me and hold me tight, Ah wouldn’t be callin’ yuh Mis’ Woods. Ah met plenty women before Ah knowed you tuh talk tuh. You’se de onliest woman in de world Ah ever even mentioned gittin married tuh. You bein’ older don’t make no difference. Don’t never consider dat no mo’. If Ah ever gits tuh messin’ round another woman it won’t be on account of her age. It’ll be because she got me in de same way you got me – so Ah can’t help mahself." (13.26-27)
Tea Cake declares his love and faithfulness to Janie. He comes out and states that Janie’s age is of no consequence to him. Tea Cake’s last sentence renders love as some sort of inexplicable force that mortal men cannot resist. Janie should be especially responsive to this because she has been swept away by passion before, first under the pear tree of her youth and now by Tea Cake.