Their Eyes Were Watching God
Gender Quotes Page 15
How we cite our quotes:
Mrs. Turner hit at him the best she could with her hurt hand and then spoke her mind for half an hour.
"It’s a good thing mah brother wuzn’t round heah when it happened do he would uh kilt somebody. Mah son too. Dey got some manhood about ‘em." (17.45-46)
In the first paragraph here, Mrs. Turner reminds readers of Joe Starks, with his big incessant voice and beating hands. To further humiliate her husband, she cites some close relations who "got some manhood about ‘em" in contrast to her husband’s perceived effeminacy for not fighting or killing anyone.
[Tea Cake]: "You don’t have tuh say, if it wuzn’t fuh me, baby, cause Ah’m heah, and then Ah want yuh tuh know it’s uh man heah." (18.109)
Tea Cake considers himself a man because he is always there for Janie and he is willing to perform all sorts of gallantries for her.
"Janie, us got tuh git outa dis house and outa dis man’s town. Ah don’t mean tuh work lak dat no mo’."
"Naw, naw, Tea Cake. Less stay right in heah until it’s all over. If dey can’t see yuh, dey can’t bother yuh." (19.34-35)
Here, Janie reverts back to a stereotypically feminine role of wanting to be passive – out of fear. Tea Cake, however, asserts his masculinity by insisting on action.