Their Eyes Were Watching God
Language and Communication Quotes Page 13
How we cite our quotes:
"Naw, you ain’t sleepy, Mis’ Janie. You jus’ want me tuh go. You figger Ah’m uh rounder and uh pimp and you done wasted too much time talkin’ wid me." (11.48)
Tea Cake does not hedge around the truth when Janie shows reluctance to speak to him; instead, he accurately reads her emotions and puts them into words. His frankness and blunt way of speaking the truth contrasts sharply with the other two men Janie has been with and this makes her more attracted to Tea Cake.
"Me scramble ‘round tuh git de money tuh take yuh – been workin’ lak uh dawg for two whole weeks – and she come astin’ me if Ah want her tuh go! Puttin’ mahself tuh uh whole heap uh trouble tuh git dis car so you kin go over tuh Winter Park or Orlandah tuh buy de things you might need and dis woman set dere and ast me if Ah want her tuh go!"
"Don’t git mad, Tea Cake, Ah just didn’t want you doin’ nothin’ outa politeness. If dere’s somebody else you’d ruther take, it’s all right wid me." (11.91-92)
Tea Cake lays bare the absurdity of Janie’s attempt to be polite. By doing this, he closes the distance between himself and Janie.
"Oh, Ah know you don’t talk. We ain’t shame faced. We jus’ ain’t ready tuh make no big kerflommouck as yet." (12.38)
Janie defends her decision to keep quiet about her relationship with Tea Cake because she doesn’t want to announce it to the whole town yet. Here, you get the sense that no matter how little credit Janie gives to the porch gossips, she is influenced by their talk and doesn’t want their gossip to interfere with her happy relationship.