Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God Chapter 4 Quotes
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Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
After that she came to where Joe Starks was waiting for her with a hired rig. He was very solemn and helped her to the seat beside him. With him on it, it sat like some high, ruling chair. From now on until death she was going to have flower dust and springtime sprinkled over everything. A bee for her bloom. (4.59)
After being threatened with death by Logan, Janie runs away from her failed marriage and vows that she will have the beautiful love represented by her pear tree. She promises to herself that she will not settle for less. She sees Joe as her vehicle to this love and thus elopes with him, despite the fact that he represents the far horizon far more than her "flower dust and springtime." However, she’s so blinded by her happiness to be leaving Logan that she mistakenly thinks Joe is "a bee for her bloom."
[Janie]: "S’posin’ Ah wuz to run off and leave yuh sometime."
[…] The thought put a terrible ache in Logan’s body, but he thought it best to put on scorn […]
"Ah’m sleepy. Ah don’t aim to worry mah gut into a fiddlestring wid no s’posin’." He flopped over resentful in his agony and pretended sleep. He hoped that he had hurt her as she had hurt him. (4.43-49)
Even though Logan has trouble showing it in any way that Janie can understand, he does indeed love Janie and deeply fears losing her. That she would voice his deepest fear to him so casually hurts Logan so much that he wants to hurt her back out of spite. This harkens back to the idea of love as painful.
Janie pulled back a long time because he [Joe] did not represent sun-up and pollen and blooming trees, but he spoke for far horizon. He spoke for change and chance. (4.28)
Janie is wary of giving herself over too quickly to Joe because, though he is far more romantic than Logan, he does not really remind her of the ideal of love conjured by her beloved pear tree’s "sun-up and pollen and blooming trees," but he does fill her mind with all the possibilities that the "far horizon" symbolizes.