Their Eyes Were Watching God
How we cite our quotes:
But Mrs. Turner’s shape and features were entirely approved by Mrs. Turner. Her nose was slightly pointed and she was proud. Her thin lips were an ever delight to her eyes. Even her buttocks in bas-relief were a source of pride. To her way of thinking all these things set her aside from Negroes. That was why she sought out Janie to friend with. Janie’s coffee-and-cream complexion and her luxurious hair made Mrs. Turner forgive her for wearing overalls like the other women who worked in the fields. (16.5)
Ironically, Mrs. Turner’s ugliest features become a source of pride for her because they differentiate her form the common black woman and mark her as partially white-blooded.
"We all laks tuh take uh rest from our women folks’ cookin’ once in uh while, so us all eatin’ way from home tuhnight. Anyhow Mis’ Turner got de best ole grub in town."
Mrs. Turner back and forth in the dining room heard Sop when he said this and beamed.
"Ah speck you two last ones tuh come in is gointuh gave tuh wait for uh seat. Ah’m all full up now." (17.20-22)
Mrs. Turner takes legitimate pride in her highly popular and successful restaurant, but her pride makes her susceptible to flattery and deception. Sop-de-Bottom and the rest of Tea Cake’s friends are merely feeding her vanity so they can blind her as they drag her restaurant down.
[Tea Cake]: "Looka heah, y’all, don’t come in heah and raise no disturbance in de place. Mis’ Turner is too nice uh woman fuh dat. In fact, she’s more nicer than anybody else on de muck." Mrs. Turner beamed on Tea Cake. (17.31)
Tea Cake pretends to be on Mrs. Turner’s side, complimenting her person and inflating her ego, so that her disgrace will be more devastating. His tactics also cover his back; after he is through destroying her, Mrs. Turner will not be able to blame Tea Cake for her demise.