* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God

by Zora Neale Hurston

Language and Communication Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #31

"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.

Quote #32

[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.

Quote #33

"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.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement