Their Eyes Were Watching God
Tea Cake found that he was part of a small army that had been pressed into service to clear the wreckage in public places and bury the dead. Bodies had to be searched out, carried to certain gathering places and buried. Corpses were not just found in wrecked homes. They were under houses, tangled in shrubbery, floating in water, hanging in trees, drifting under wreckage.
Trucks lined with drag kept rolling in from the ‘Glades and other outlying parts, each with its load of twenty-five bodies. Some bodies fully dressed, some naked and some in all degrees of dishevelment. Some bodies with calm faces and satisfied hands. Some dead with fighting faces and eyes flung wide open in wonder. Death had found them watching, trying to see beyond seeing. (19.22-23)
"Shucks! Nobody can’t tell nothin’ ‘bout some uh dese bodies, de shape dey’s in. Can’t tell whether dey’s white or black." (19.30)
[Janie]: "You mean he’s liable tuh die, doctah?"
[Doctor Simmons]: "’Sho is. But de worst thing is he’s liable tuh suffer somethin’ awful befo’ he goes." (19.96-97)