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Quotes

Quote #4

[Pheoby]: "You know if you pass some people and don’t speak tuh suit ‘em dey got tuh go way back in yo’ life and see whut you ever done. They know mo’ ‘bout yuh than you do yo’self. An envious heart makes a treacherous ear. They done ‘heard’ ‘bout you just what they hope done happened." (1.42)

Pheoby recognizes that because Janie doesn’t make the effort to be friendly to the gossipers, they feel left out and hurt, so they look for ammunition with which to wound her. Pheoby also realizes that jealous people don’t forget anything bad about you, so they can store up dirt to use later. And for lack of real stuff to gossip about, they’ll just make it up.

Quote #5

Dere wuz uh knotty head gal name Mayrella dat useter git mad every time she look at me. Mis’ Washburn useter dress me up in all de clothes her gran’chillun didn’t need no mo’ which still wuz better’n whut de rest uh de colored chillun had. And then she useter put hair ribbon on mah head fuh me tuh wear. Dat useter rile Mayrella uh lot. So she would pick at me all de time and put some others up tuh do de same. They’d push me ‘way from de ring plays and make out they couldn’t play wid nobody dat lived on premises. Den they’d tell me not to be takin’ on over mah looks ‘cause they mama told ‘em ‘bout de hound dawgs huntin’ mah papa all night long." (2.10)

Mayrella, like the porch gossipers, ostracizes and tries to humiliate Janie because she is jealous of Janie’s good looks and clothes. Seems like women have always resented Janie for being pretty.

Quote #6

Logan with his shovel looked like a black bear doing some clumsy dance on his hind legs. (4.52)

Logan’s jealousy that Janie might run off with some other man renders him somewhat bestial, like a "black bear doing some clumsy dance." Hurston often relates jealousy to loss of humanity and reduction to bestiality. Often, when people show excessive jealousy or hate, Hurston depicts them as animals.

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