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)
Joe Starks was the name, yeah Joe Starks from in and through Georgy. Been workin’ for white folks all his life. Saved up some money – round three hundred dollars, yes indeed, right here in his pocket. Kept hearin’ ‘bout them buildin’ a new state down heah in Floridy and sort of wanted to come. But he was makin’ money where he was. But when he heard all about ‘em makin’ a town all outa colored folks, he knowed dat was de place he wanted to be. He had always wanted to be a big voice… (4.16)
Despite his wealthy appearance, Joe is an honest worker just like Janie. He has worked diligently for white people his whole life but has been able to save up money and buy the semblance of white wealth. Unlike many other characters, he doesn’t see his social class as fixed – he plans on breaking into the upper-class with his entrepreneurial schemes.
[Logan]: "Considerin’ youse born in a carriage ‘thout no top to it, and yo’ mama and you bein’ born and raised in de white folks back-yard." (4.40)
Logan looks down on Janie for having lived as the white people’s servant and ward her whole life. He considers himself, in his freedom and hard-earned living, classier than Janie. "Considerin’" she comes from a lower social situation, he thinks she doesn’t have the right to act independent or have many opinions.
[Logan]: "Ah thought you would ‘preciate good treatement. Thought Ah’d take and make somethin’ outa yuh. You think youse white folks by de way you act." (4.42)
Janie’s demeanor is too proud for her poor station in life, according to Logan. Apparently, by marrying a woman of a lower social position, Logan was expecting to have Janie feeling gratefully and completely indebted to him. Since he’s also hoping to "make somethin’ outa" Janie, he apparently considers her to be of very little significance the way she is right now.