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Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God


by Zora Neale Hurston

Their Eyes Were Watching God Pheoby Watson Quotes

[Pheoby about Janie:] "Still and all, she’s her own woman. She oughta know by now whut she wants tuh do." (12.7)

Pheoby, being a woman, recognizes that women are intelligent and know what they want out of life and out of their men. She sees that independence in Janie and thus awards her friend with the title of being "her own woman." This sense of self-ownership and self-confidence is usually reserved for a man. Thus, this can be seen as one instance of Janie crossing the traditional boundaries between men and women.

Pheoby Watson

Quote 2

[Pheoby]: "Course she kin do as she please, but dat’s uh good chance she got up at Sanford. De man’s wife died and he got u lovely place tuh take her to – already furnished. Better’n her house Joe left her." (12.5)

Pheoby obviously values material wealth and stability, marks of the higher class. Because the Sanford undertaker’s house is "better’n her house Joe left her," Pheoby thinks the decision is a no-brainer: marry the undertaker. But Janie has different values than Pheoby and the other Eatonville citizens; she’s experience material wealth and knows that it’s not what drives her.

Pheoby Watson

Quote 3

[Pheoby]: "Yeah, Sam say most of ‘em goes to church so they’ll be sure to rise in Judgment. Dat’s de day dat every secret is s’posed to be made known. They wants to be there and hear it all." (1.46)

Pheoby comments on the porch’s insatiable curiosity, their invasive prying into everyone’s private lives. They hunger for scandalous stories and revealing words, maybe because they aren’t out living themselves and need ample communication as a replacement.