Their Eyes Were Watching God
How we cite our quotes:
[Nanny] "Well, if he do all dat whut you come in heah wid uh face long as mah arm for?"
"Cause you told me Ah wuz gointer love him, and, and Ah don’t. Maybe if somebody was to tell me how, Ah could do it."
"You come head wid yo’ mouf full uh foolishness on uh busy day. Heah you got uh prop tuh lean on all yo’ bawn days, and big protection, and everybody got tuh tip dey hat tuh you and call you Mis’ Killicks, and you come worryin’ me ‘bout love." (3.17-20)
Janie still considers the idea of love essential to a marriage and she thinks that because she still doesn’t love Logan, something has gone wrong. She earnestly wants to love the man and make the marriage work, but Nanny brushes her worries off as frivolous. In Nanny’s eyes, Janie should be happy simply with her property and status as a respectably married woman; love is irrelevant.
"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 idea of love includes sweetness, beauty, and romance, as shown to her by her pear tree experience. When Logan shows no tendencies to even try to achieve this type of immortal beauty that is necessary to Janie’s concept of love, she feels cheated.
So Janie waited a bloom time, and a green time and an orange time. But when the pollen again gilded the sun and sifted down on the world she began to stand around the gate and expect things. What things? She didn’t know exactly. Her breath was gusty and short. She knew things that nobody had ever told her. For instance, the words of the trees and the wind. She often spoke to falling seeds and said, "Ah hope you fall on soft ground," because she had heard seeds saying that to each other as they passed. She knew the world was a stallion rolling in the blue pasture of ether. She knew that God tore down the old world every evening and built a new one by sun-up. It was wonderful to see it take form with the sun and emerge from the gray dust of its making. (3.31)
When Janie’s marriage to Logan does not become the love match she dreamed, Janie’s thoughts return to the same nature that made her beautiful pear tree. She is still fascinated with birth and creation, as illustrated by her metaphor of the world as a stallion and her concept of God rebuilding the world every evening. She yearns and comes to "expect" these "things," as a woman who is capable of reproducing, but who is frustrated by her loveless marriage.