Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God Janie Crawford Quotes
[Janie on Logan]: "He don’t even never mention nothin’ pretty."
She began to cry.
"Ah wants things sweet wid mah marriage lak when you sit under a pear tree and think. Ah…" (3.26-28)
Janie’s innocent ideas about love and marriage being like her experience under the pear tree are being eroded away by her marriage to Logan. When Logan shows no tendencies to even try to achieve this type of immortal beauty, Janie feels cheated.
[Janie to Mrs. Turner]: "Ah couldn’t stand it if he [Tea Cake] wuz tuh quit me. Don’t know whut Ah’d do. He kin take most any lil thing and make summertime out of it when times is dull. Then we lives offa dat happiness he made till some mo’ happiness come along." (16.13)
Janie tells the skeptical Mrs. Turner that Tea Cake is the true love of her life because he can bring snippets of profound happiness and innocence back into her life. Because Janie has always associated her innocence with spring and summer, the fact that she calls Tea Cake’s creations "summertime" shows just how deeply she cherishes those times and the man who makes them possible.
[Janie]: "Tain’t really no need of you dying, Jody, if you had of – de doctor – but it don’t do no good bringin’ dat up now. Dat’s just whut Ah wants tuh say, Jody, You wouldn’t listen. You done lived wid me for twenty years and you don’t half know me atall. And you could have but you was so busy worshippin’ de works of yo’ own hands, and cuffin’ folks around in their minds till you didn’t see uh whole heap uh things yuh could have." (8.37)
Fate isn’t compelling Joe to die; Janie points out that it’s been his own choice not to see a doctor. It seems that much of Joe’s life has been about free will; he created his own future by seizing opportunities, and he has destroyed his future by not seeing a doctor or tending to his own health.