Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God Chapter 19 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"Aw, twudn’t nothin’ much, doctah. It wuz all healed over in two three days," Tea Cake said impatiently. "Dat been over uh month ago, nohow. Dis is somethin’ new, doctah. Ah figgers de water is yet bad." (19.90)
Tea Cake arrogantly dismisses the idea that his sickness is caused by the bite from the mad dog. His impatience is an outward manifestation of his quick pride. This is the second time Tea Cake has overlooked a crucial fact (the coming hurricane and the mad dog) out of his masculine pride and he will be punished for it yet again.
She [Janie] tried to make them see how terrible it was that things were fixed so that Tea Cake couldn’t come back to himself until he had got rid of that mad dog that was in him and he couldn’t get rid of the dog and live. He had to die to get rid of the dog. But she hadn’t wanted to kill him. A man is up against a hard game when he must die to beat it. She made them see how couldn’t ever want to be rid of him. She didn’t plead to anybody. She just sat there and told and when she was through she hushed. (19.170)
During her testimony, Janie’s language is sure and authoritative because her pride and love for Tea Cake urge her to tell her story truthfully. She leaves no room for doubt about Tea Cake being a heroic and loving husband or how hard it was for her to kill him.
Janie buried Tea Cake in Palm Beach…Janie had wired to Orlando for money to put him away. Tea Cake was the son of Evening Sun, and nothing was too good. The Undertaker did a handsome job and Tea Cake slept royally on his white silken couch among the roses she had bought. He looked almost ready to grin. Janie bought him a brand new guitar and put it in his hands. He would be thinking up new songs to play to her when she got there. (19.182)
Even though Tea Cake, the fulfillment of her dream of love, has died, Janie does not stop remembering him or conjuring up future dreams. She envisions him in heaven, playing his brand new guitar when she goes up to join him. Tea Cake is still alive in her dreams.