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Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God

by Zora Neale Hurston

Their Eyes Were Watching God Janie Crawford Quotes Page 17

Quote #49

They fought on. "You done hurt mah heart, now you come wid uh lie tuh bruise mah ears! Turn go mah hands!" Janie seethed. But Tea Cake never let go. They wrestled on until they were doped with their own fumes and emanations; till their clothes had been torn away; till he hurled her to the floor and held her there melting her resistance with the heat of his body, doing things with their bodies to express the inexpressible; kissed her until she arched her body to meet him and they fell asleep in sweet exhaustion.

The next morning Janie asked like a woman, "You still love ole Nunkie?"

"Naw, never did, and you know it too. Ah didn’t want her."

"Yeah, you did." She didn’t say this because she believed it. She wanted to hear his denial. She had to crow over the fallen Nunkie.

"Whut would Ah do wid dat lil chunk of a woman wid you around? She ain’t good for nothin’ exceptin’ tuh set up in uh corner by de kitchen stove and break wood over her head. You’se something tuh make uh man forgit tuh git old and forgit tuh die." (15.14-18)

Even though Janie has every reason to spite and leave Tea Cake for his inappropriate flirting with Nunkie, she forgives him – or rather, they forgive each other in a cathartic session of lovemaking. However, Janie’s forgiveness is not entirely selfless. She cannot bring herself to forgive Nunkie. Thus, we see a less forgiving, cattier side of Janie that is rather uncharacteristic.

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