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Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God


by Zora Neale Hurston

Their Eyes Were Watching God Chapter 5 Quotes

How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote 16

"Shucks!" said Hicks. "Mah britches is just as long as his. But dat wife uh hisn! Ah’m uh son of uh Combunction if Ah don’t go tuh Georgy and git me one just like her."

"Whut wid?"

"Wid mah talk, man."

"It takes money tuh feed pretty women. Dey gits uh lavish uh talk."

"Not lak mine. Dey loves to hear me talk because dey can’t understand it. Mah co-talkin’ is too deep. Too much co to it."

"Umph!" (5.19-24)

Hicks has great confidence in his ability to talk to women and convince them to fall for him. He sees language as a manipulative key to getting women. According to Hicks, getting women isn’t the actual content of the language. So he’s consciously manipulative and belittling with his language, assuming that women don’t understand his clever use of words and stupidly fall for a man because he uses impressive language.

Quote 17

"Whut is de real name of de place?"

"Some say West Maitland and some say Eatonville. Dat’s ‘cause Cap’n Eaton give us some land along wid Mr. Laurence. But Cap’n Eaton give de first piece." (5.34-35)

The name of the town is in question; "West Maitland" names it according to its geography while "Eatonville" dubs it after its patron. Maybe Eatonville is the name that sticks because it shows that the town is independent. As the first all-black town, it should probably have it’s own name rather than just being know for it’s location west of a white town.

Quote 18

"Everybody come right forward and make merry. I got, it’s mah treat." Jody gave one of his big heh heh laughs and stood back. Janie dipped up the lemonade like he told her. A big tin cup full for everybody. (5.90)

Jody’s "heh heh laugh" is his trademark, marking him as apparently good-natured and somewhat fatherly. However, it is also one aspect of his "big voice" and probably a superficial tactic designed to make people like him. Also, notice how Janie is doing exactly what Joe tells her to.

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