Their Eyes Were Watching God Summary: An Overview of the Plot
- Date:Jun 06, 2019
- Category:Their Eyes Were Watching God
The main focus of ‘Eyes Were Watching God’ is the experiences Janie Crawford goes through. She is a black woman full of beauty with a fair-skinned complexion. As the story begins, the woman resides in the South of America. At the beginning of the book, Janie makes her returns to Florida. She had been absent for a long time. On her return, she comes face to face with the judgmental and the gossiping nature of the people living in Eatonville. The current talk is centered on the subject that Janie left the town in the company of a young man by the name Tea Cake. In the middle of the gossip, Pheobe Watson, Janie’s friend, is the only one that defends Janie. She greets Janie. After that, narrates to Pheobe the things that have happened in her life. That includes the events that took place when she left Eatonville. That is what the rest of the novel by Zora Neale Hurston addresses.
During childhood, Janie was catered for by Nanny, her grandmother. Nanny was formerly a slave. Though she was controlling, she was the only person who had the only person who intended to bring out the best from Janie. Before she purchased a new house where they lived with Janie Nanny previously raised her in the backyard of the home that belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Washburn. This was a white couple and friendly to Nanny. Their house is the first place Nanny worked when she became free. Nanny’s wish is that Janie should live in a place of social standing.
Additionally, Janie should live a life of financial security. There is a day she notices Janie having a romantic kissing moment with a boy. It is at this point that she begins arranging Janie’s marriage to Logan Killicks, a rich farmer within their neighborhood.
The marriage she has with Logan Killick does not make Janie happy. However, she is but hopeful that the affection towards Logan can grow. Unfortunately, she constantly receives abused from Logan. She likens the treatment that she goes through in the hands of Logan with what an animal experiences. Fortunately, there is a day Janie comes across Jody Starks. He is Handsome and full of ambitions. They go through the period of courtship. It is this man that tells Janie that they should go to a place far from Logan. Janie agrees, and they move to Eatonville where they marry.
As they live in Eatonville, the ambitions that Jody has are to acquire political power as well as become an entrepreneur that controls business that takes place in the town. In the process, he becomes the mayor and also owns the biggest store that is in the town. In the early stages, Janie feels great love for Jody. However, it gets to a point where she feels stifled by Jody’ desire to be in total control and to acquire power. Janie feels that Jody considers her as just one of the accessories he has acquired in the course of looking for success.
After that, Jody falls sick. As his health deteriorates, he continues treating Janie badly. He humiliates Janie by beating her in the full gaze of those who were inside the store when Janie gets courage and speaks against the mistreatment she gets from him. When Jody is almost dying, Janie cannot stay silent anymore. She opens up and tells Jody the extent to which the things he to her made Janie feel terrible. Jody dies after that conversation.
After Jody’s funeral procedures, Janie’s feeling is not like a person who is mourning the death of a loved one. Instead, she feels like someone who has earned her freedom and is excited with her life and ability to achieve her dreams after years of being restricted. He dresses code changes to the clothes she is comfortable with rather than what she was forced to wear when Jody was alive. She was signaling potential suitors of the fact that she is now available.
As Janie was working in the store that formerly belongs to Jody, Tea Cake, a handsome young man, walks in and begins flirting with Janie. He later invites her Janie for a game of checkers Though Janie initially acts cold; she is later getting happier as she spends the evening around Tea Cake. Tea Cake is still young in terms of age. Moreover, he is lower in social standing. As a result, the town people are concerned and worried about the fact that Janie is dating him. However, their judgment does not get to Janie’s heart. All she wants is to follow the direction of her heart and feelings instead. Later, Tea Cake and Janie escape from the prying eyes of the town people and goes to Everglades. They get married there.
Their marriage life in the Everglades is far from perfect. Tea Cake begins stealing her money. Moreover, he whips her as his way of asserting his power and control over her. He then wrestles teasingly with Nunkie, another girl who lives in the town. Another tension originates from Mrs. Turner, a woman in the town. She persistently tells she persuades Janie to leave get in a relationship with her lighter-skinned brother instead of Tea Cake. This is a demonstration of just how racist Mrs. Turner is. However, it is notable that the relationship between Janie and Tea Cake feels better than what she had with her previous husbands. Here, they are equal partners, and the relationship is anchored on real love. They also have mutual respect for one another, unlike the previous relationships. In the new place, they make friends and have frequent parties.
When a massive hurricane is experienced in the area, their love life comes to an unprecedented halt. In the course of the storm, a dog launches an attack on Tea Cake infecting him with the disease in the process. When it began, Tea Cake does not know the condition he is suffering from. With time, things get worse, and he begins to lose his mind. The doctor Janie informs them of the disease. The doctor gives an assurance to Janie, who is now worried that sending Cake’s medicine. With time, Janie notices that things are getting out of hand. Because of his condition, Tea Cake is convinced that Janie has not been faithful. All this while, he had a loaded pistol hidden under the pillow. To save herself from the impending attack, Janie kills Tea Cake first using the gun. The court finds her innocent. In any case, the whole jury is made of white males. Moreover, she delivers a testimony that convinces the jury that she truly loved Tea Cake.
As the novel ends, Janie has to returns back to Eatonville. Her return is the point where the story in the novel begins. Even though she is sad that Tea Cake died, Janie says to Pheobe, the friend of her happiness after being back and safe. She now feels she is at the horizon of her life and can now reach the dreams she had. Janie still feels like Tea Cake is in her life. That is the love she felt was genuine and fulfilled the desires she had. Janie always wanted a relationship in which what she said mattered, and she had some level of independence. In previous relationships, she never experienced those desires. With Tea Cake, things were different. She felt like she was in the right place.