Their Eyes Were Watching God
How we cite our quotes:
[Tea Cake]: "De way you looked at me when Ah said whut Ah did. Yo’ face skeered me so bad till mah whiskers drawed up."
"Ah ain’t got no business bein’ mad at nothin’ you do and say. You got it all wrong. Ah ain’t mad atall."
"Ah know it and dat’s why puts de shamery on me. You’se jus’ disgusted wid me. Yo’ face jus’ left here and went off somewhere else. Naw, you ain’t mad wid me. AH be glad if was, ‘cause then Ah might do somethin’ tuh please yuh. But lak it is – "(11.50-52)
One of the reasons that Janie loves Tea Cake so much is that he is open with her, admitting his fear when he sees her displeasure and stating his determination to do anything to please her. Unlike Joe, Tea Cake does not silence Janie but actually listens to her and even reads into her expressions – something that Joe completely ignored.
[Tea Cake]: "Things lak dat [age] got uh whole lot tuh do wid convenience, but it ain’t got nothin’ tuh do wid love." (11.62)
Tea Cake does not care about social prescriptions over such trifles as age differences when there is real love involved. And the fact that he has the courage to address such a touchy subject directly to Janie further endears him to her.
All next day in the house and store she thought resisting thoughts about Tea Cake. She even ridiculed him in her mind and was a little ashamed of the association. But every hour or two the battle had to be fought all over again. She couldn’t make him look just like any other man to her. He looked like the love thoughts of women. He could be a bee to a blossom – a pear tree blossom in the spring. He seemed to be crushing scent out of the world with his footsteps. Crushing aromatic herbs with every step he took. Spices hung about him. He was a glance from God. (11.68)
Though the "proper" woman in Janie is struggling over getting involved with a man as young as Tea Cake, Janie’s heart has already been won over. In her mind’s eye, she already sees him as a bee to her pear blossom. She associates him with all the romantic natural imagery that she evokes when she thinks of her pear tree – the overwhelming "scent" of "aromatic herbs."