Study Guide

Their Eyes Were Watching God Chapter 3

By Zora Neale Hurston

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Chapter 3

  • In case you didn’t realize it, we’re still in a flashback to Janie’s youth.
  • Janie questions whether or not marriage brings love. Nanny assures her it does and that she’ll learn to love Logan after she marries him.
  • So, Janie consents to marrying Logan and becoming the mistress of 60 acres of land.
  • Janie marries Logan at Nanny’s house, and afterward, they feast.
  • When Janie reaches Logan’s house, she finds that it’s a pretty lonely, boring place off in the middle of nowhere.
  • She waits three months for love to come, and when it doesn’t, Janie goes to see Nanny.
  • During her visit with Nanny, Janie is pretty quiet and seems down in the dumps.
  • Nanny goes from thinking that Janie is quiet because she’s pregnant ("knocked up already") to assuming that Logan is abusing her ("beat mah baby already").
  • But, when Nanny learns the more melodramatic reason for Janie’s bad mood (she’s doesn’t love Logan), Nanny belittles it. She thinks that being an honest woman and being respectfully called Mis’ Killicks should be enough for Janie.
  • Janie dislikes Logan’s practical, unromantic nature. All he does is chop wood for her. Logan also isn’t attractive in appearance or hygiene—apparently, he has an asymmetrical head and doesn’t wash his feet.
  • When Janie starts to cry, saying she wants to have a marriage like a blossoming pear tree, Nanny sends her away without comfort, telling her to wait a bit longer for love to come.
  • Nanny worries about Janie but is sure that she’s done the best for her granddaughter that she can. She prays to God to take care of the girl.
  • Within a month, Nanny is dead.
  • About a year later, Janie has learned her lesson: marriage doesn’t bring love. With this realization, she grows increasingly distant, taking comfort in the beauty of nature around her. She's fascinated by the concept of creation, especially now in the spring.
  • The chapter ends with a sort of adage. Janie’s first dream of love died. Thus, she became a woman.

Their Eyes Were Watching God Chapter 3 Study Group

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