They both carry a rather unsavory reputation around their towns, they both woo their new wives aggressively; they even take care of their women with occasional recourse to illegal improprieties such as liquor distilling and gambling (although they tend to spend their profits quite differently). Both men reduce to child-like behavior in key moments of affection with their wives; Tea Cake favors having his head in Janie’s lap, while Jim prefers his head resting on Arvay’s breast. Perhaps most crucially, both men exhibit communication and behavior that make their wives frantic with jealousy and fear. Jim, in his teasing of Arvay, and Tea Cake in his long absences, especially right after his marriage to Janie in Jacksonville, make their respective wives boil over with internal anguish. Janie and Arvay respond to their men in similar ways as well.
Her next marriage to Jody was an escape. In a sense it was Janie breaking free from the life that Nanny had planned for her, cutting loose from his scratchy toenails and portly stomach. Joe Starks was the knight who could rescue that damsel in distress. However, Tea Cakes started off with a “sweep you off of you feet” type meeting, which could not be turned down. He possessed charm and grace and had this unique ability to make Janie feel special.
Starks is a smooth talking power hungry man who never allows Janie express her real self. The Eatonville community views Janie as the typical woman who tends to her husband and their house. Janie does not want to be accepted into the society as the average wife. Before Jody dies, Janie is able to let her suppressed anger out. When Tea Cake enters Janie's life, Janie really starts to come out of her shell.
The Towns people and Janie’s best friend Pheoby are skeptical of Tea Cake’s intentions. They think Tea Cake is after Janie’s money and widowhood. However, Janie explains to Pheoby, “Tea Cake ain’t draggin me off nowhere Ah don’t want tuh go. Ah always did want tuh git round uh whole heap, but Jody wouldn’t ‘low me tuh. When Ah wasn’t in de store he wanted me tuh jes sit wid folded hand and sit dere.” Janie admitted her desire to get up and go wherever she pleased.
Which lastly leaves Tea Cake, a younger man who looked at Janie as a prize but did not read her like Jody did. He respected her, and let her join in on activities that she was not able to do before. Tea Cake loved Janie and he was her true love and it was unfortunate in the story to have Janie kill her husband in such a way. Echidna every person who played a role in Janie’s life would show her who she was. In the end of the story she is indeed an independent woman, and has completely changed from who we met early in the
Society plays a huge part in how gender roles still exist today because people are still stuck on the notion that women should always respect someone else.Now for Janie’s third husband, Teacake, he had the power to make Janie go wherever he wanted to go and make her believe he was a sweet and loyal man. He convinced Janie to leave town with him and go to a new city. Later on during the time they were living in the new city the reader can tell how Janie still played a part in these gender roles. In one particular incident Tea Cake had beaten Janie because he wanted to remind her that she is his possession. “ Tea Cake had a brainstorm.
Tea Cake showed Janie a side of man that she did not know existed. He appeared to value Janie as an equal; he included her in formerly male-exclusive activities- according to Jody- and did not belittle her opinions. At first, Janie was skeptical of Tea Cake because of past experiences, but she quickly realized that her relationship with him would be different: she genuinely loved Tea Cake. Again Janie was faced with the disapproval of the town folk, since Tea Cake was so much younger than her. She discussed the gossip with her friend Pheoby and decided the love she felt for Tea Cake was more important than their opinions.
As Janie and Tea Cake bond, Janie sees that TeaCake, a younger man with no richness, knows, accepts, and values her as no one else has ever done. Tea Cake is the only man Janie marries who cannot does not claim or insist to protect or solely provide for her. But Joe still takes a great deal of responsibility in the relationship. Janie also rightfully believes that who a person is, is more important than what he has. Only after Janie starts to trust Tea Cake, does Janie begin to free herself, and in fact feel eager, to tell her friend Pheoby all that has happened since she left Eatonville.
Yet, she found some of her ideals of love in the man named Tea Cake who she last ended up with until she returned home. As much as Tea Cake had the qualities Janie was looking for she found a greater understanding of herself as a women besides her love. Janie was inexperienced at the start of her adventure, learned that love will not always come from promises, and had major reflection when she finished her first marriage with Joe that she went into with assurance. Janie was able to get a glimpse of independency after Joe died which is conveyed through the quote “Besides she liked being lonesome for a change. This freedom feeling was fine” (Hurston 90).
But, in my opinion, Janie does not lose her will to find herself and it might have even become stronger because the reader can see that Janie is not happy with the way things are now and that she will probably want to change them in the future. When Joe dies and Janie marries Tea Cake, she feels free because even though Tea Cake asks for her opinion when he does something and cares about her. Since this is Janie's first marriage where she actually loves her husband, she feels free and discovers many new things in life that she has not noticed before. She becomes more sociable, wants to go places with Tea Cake, enjoys working with other people, and likes shooting game. Although she never shot a rifle before, she becomes a better shooter that Tea Cake, and he respects her for that,