Their Eyes Were Watching God Chapter 4 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
[Logan to Janie:] "Don’t you change too many words wid me dis mawnin’, Janie, do Ah’ll take and change ends wid yuh. Heah, Ah just as good as take you out de white folks’ kitchen and set you down on yo’ royal diasticutis and you take and low-rate me! Ah’ll take holt uh dat ax and come in dere and kill yuh! [...] God damn yo’ hide!" (4.57)
To Logan, Janie’s lack of respect for him is cruel enough to merit death. A woman talking so directly back to him and contradicting his commands is unthinkable for him. This shows just how conservative are the morals Logan lives under. Of course, his death threat may also be insincere, simply an outburst of uncontrollable emotion. Either way, they do foreshadow a sort of upcoming death for Janie—the death of her innocence and her first marriage.
[Logan to Janie]: "Don’t you change too many words wid me dis mawnin’, Janie, do Ah’ll take and change ends wid yuh. Heah, Ah just as good as take you out de white folks’ kitchen and set you down on yo’ royal diasticutis and you take and low-rate me! Ah’ll take holt uh dat ax and come in dere and kill yuh! You better dry up in dere! Ah’m too honest and hard-workin’ for anybody in yo’ family, at’s de reason you don’t want me!"…"Ah guess some low-lifed nigger is grinnin’ in yo’ face and lyin’ tuh yuh. God damn yo’ hide!" (4.57)
Logan accuses Janie of having pride for all of the wrong reasons. It is a case of comparison. Logan takes pride in his honesty and hard work while conversely blaming Janie of never having done an honest day’s work in her life; instead, she has been pampered by the white folks and "set…down on [her] royal diasticutis." In Logan’s mind, hard, honest work is the only justifiable reason for pride.
Every day after that they [Janie and Joe] managed to meet in the scrub oaks across the road and talk about when he would be a big ruler of things with her reaping the benefits. Janie pulled back a long time because he 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 leery of Joe because he does not represent the ideals of her dreams. "Sun-up" is a metaphor for hope, while "pollen and blooming trees" represent sex and the subsequent possibility of new life. Joe represents something different for her future—ambition and fortune. In the end, Janie chooses the future that Joe offers over a predictable, isolated life with Logan.