Thursday, September 26, 2013
After Jody dies, Janie is alone and she starts examining her life. Janie doesn't care that Jody died but she maintains a sad facade as to not be judged by the townsfolk. As Janie starts thinking about her life, she realizes she's been following Nanny's values, seeking superficial things like wealth and social status instead of being herself. After Jody dies, Janie feels free once again. Men start approaching Janie but none truly grasp her and Janie is too busy enjoying her independence and happiness to lock herself into another relationship; or so she thought. Much time passes after Jody's death and lo and behold, another man catches Janie's attention. One day they play checkers and he says his name is Vergible Woods but people call him Tea Cake, both of which are very odd names. They flirt and play checkers. Push comes to shove and eventually, Janie and Jody fall in love and want to get married and move away. The people of Eatonville do not approve of this relationship because Tea Cake was poor and Janie was rich. The townsfolk are convinced Janie will end up like Ms. Tyler, an older whom ran off with a younger guy who stole her money and left her. The townsfolk advise against Janie's actions but Janie pays them no mind and goes ahead with her plan. So one day, Tea Cake doesn't come back for a week Janie starts to believe the townsfolk and thinks that Tea Cake is taking advantage of her for her wealth and when he finally shows up, Janie decided to be rude to him. When Tea Cake returns he acts all funny and whatnot and Janie can't be mean to him and they start flirting again. I like how when Janie is married, she wants freedom and independence and when she's free and independent she wants love; the never ending indecisive Janie cycle. So Janie can't stay mad at Jody and they end up playing checkers and going to the lake. So the two of them are in love and then one day Tea Cake disappears again and Janie is all worried again only to see Tea Cake pull up in a beat up car saying he wants to take her on a picnic and make their relationship public. Janie reveals her plan to sell Jody's shop and move away. Obviously the townsfolk do not approve but what can they do about it. Janie is happy with Tea Cake and it surprised me that their relationship didn't crumble like the others. I didn't expect Tea Cake to die, but that doesn't happen for a while. So Janie and Tea Cake go to Jacksonville and get married.
Janie is still unsure whether or not Tea Cake is a gold digger so she doesn't mention her financial situation to him. One day Janie leaves two hundred dollars in her shirt and later realizes both the money and Tea Cake missing. She starts to worry and think about Eatonville and Ms. Tyler but then Tea Cake shows up and tells her he threw a party with chicken and macaroni for his friends with the two hundred dollars. He said that he would pay her back but Janie is insulted that she was not invited to the party. Tea Cake plays dice and wins three hundred and twenty two dollars and pays Janie back. Janie proceeds to tell Tea Cake about the twelve hundred dollars she has and Tea Cake tells her she won't ever have to touch her money because he is going to provide for her. Then they move to the Everglades, where Tea Cake will find work. Now they're in the Everglades and Tea Cake teaches Janie how to shoot a rifle, which will come in handy later in the story. I think social status plays an important role in the story. Nanny's obsession with social status got Janie in a marriage where she didn't want to be. Jody was a man of higher class and he always nagged at Janie to do things a certain way because of class. One of the main reasons the townsfolk disapprove of Janie and Tea Cake is because Janie is a woman of higher class and she shouldn't be with a broke low class man like Tea Cake. So at this point in Janie's life, everything is going swell. She has finally found love and freedom simultaneously. It seems as if Tea Cake is Janie's dream man, and everything continues perfectly for some time as seasons and characters come and go. Janie and Tea Cake go to Palm Beach since a hurricane is coming. During the hurricane a rabid dog shows up and bites Tea Cake in the face and Tea cake gets rabies. After the hurricane the white townsfolk of Palm Beach begin burying those who died in the hurricane. They bury the white people in coffins and the blacks in a ditch. Tea Cake is flipping out and slowly losing his marbles. One day Janie leaves to see if a doctor can help Tea Cake. Tea Cake gets upset that Janie is left. Janie finds a pistol under Tea Cakes pillow. She removes three bullets from the pistol so she will have time to react should rabid Tea Cake try anything. Tea Cake tries to shoot her but Janie is one step ahead and grabs the heater, then proceeds to pop a cap in Tea Cake's ass. Janie then has to go to court for murdering her husband. She is found innocent. Afterward Janie gives Tea Cake a very nice burial. It's a shame that when Janie is finally free, in love, and happy she has to kill her husband. It seems as if Janie will never sustain her ideal love-filled lifestyle. After Tea Cakes funeral, Janie leaves the Everglades and goes back to Eatonville and the story comes full circle. Janie thinks about the time she killed Tea Cake and gets sad, but she realizes the good outweighs the bad. Tea Cake gave her so many good feelings and memories that she could never possibly forget. Janie loved him so much and she made her feel free and at peace. Tea Cake is a pear tree.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
When Jody buys the mule from Matt Bonner, it becomes a symbol in the town for freedom and people compare Jody's action to that of Abraham Lincoln and the slaves. So the mule is free, but Janie isn't. As time passes, it seems as if Janie's soul is slowly being scooped out with a plastic spoon. Janie isn't happy with her life anymore, she becomes detached and even considers running away. Janie is empty and Jody is old. Janie to notices that Jody is aging and has trouble moving. I think that Janie is going to marry another guy when Jody dies in her hopeless search for love and freedom. Jody becomes more of an asshole as he gets older, as he insults Janie constantly. One day in the store Janie makes a little mistake and Jody gets very upset and insults her and hits her. Jody's health deteriorates and he dies. Once again, Janie is free, until she gets married to another guys and feels trapped and unhappy. At the moment when Jody dies, Janie takes off her head rag thing that Jody made her wear and I think that represents freedom again. Janie then realizes that she has to look like she is mourning Jody's death, though she is not, and puts the head rag thing back on.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
I think one of the main themes so far is the search for love and independence. Nanny is Janie's grandmother and Janie doesn't know her parents and Janie and Nanny used to live in some white family's backyard. In the novel, after Nanny sees Janie kissing Johnny Taylor under a pear tree, she is not very happy and decides to marry Janie off to a wealthy old farmer named Logan Killicks. Janie doesn't like this decision and I think its because Jaine is searching for real love and independence and being married off to this man she didn't love didn't get her any closer to either of the two. Janie says that she doesn't want to be a mule after Nanny says "De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see." which shows their opposing views and this is a conflict for Janie.
In the first few chapters, another theme that I think is very important is race. Janie grew up with a bunch of white kids and used to play with them and what not and she never realized that she was black until she sees a picture of herself. The story is told by Janie herself and it is cool. Racial conflict is evident because the black children at Janies school made fun of her for living with white people. I think that the author, Zora Neale Hurston does a good job of displaying these themes. This book is cool.