Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God Language and Communication Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"Janie! Janie! don’t tell me Ah got tuh die, and Ah ain’t used tuh thinkin’ ‘bout it." (8.36)
To Joe, the thought of death is unthinkable and, thus, unspeakable. To him, saying such a thing means giving truth to it.
[Janie to Joe]: You ain’t tried tuh pacify nobody but yo’self. Too busy listenin tuh yo’ own big voice." (8.41)
Joe’s obsession with becoming a "big voice" means that he is deafened by his own words; he cannot and will not hear any one else’s words, no matter how legitimate they may be.
"All dis tearin’ down talk!" Jody whispered with sweat globules forming all over his face and arms. "Git outa heah!"
"All dis bowin’ down, all dis obedience under yo’ voice – dat ain’t whut Ah rushed off down de road tuh find out about you." (8.42-43)
Now that Janie speaks up, strongly and confidently, Joe has lost his big voice, he can only whisper. Janie appropriately points out that being forced to follow all of Joe’s orders was the equivalent of bowing before him. He was trying to use his voice to completely dominate her.