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“He set it up and began to show her and she found herself glowing inside.”
She was glowing because she was getting the kind of attention she always dreamed of. When her first marriage to Logan Killicks ended, she was looking for that natural love. The kind of love that was present before marriage. Love that was the reason for the marriage, not the product of it afterwards. 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.
“Yuh can’t beat uh woman”
I like this line. It is so playful and flattering, and in my opinion…TRUE. Tea Cakes knows a little some thing about woman. He does not see them as trophies to be put on the mantle nor assets in a marriage or love affair. Women are complex human beings who should never be underestimated, especially if they have been suppresses as long as Janie has.
“Who ever heard of uh teacake bein’ called Mister! If you wanta be real high toned and call me Mr. Woods, dat’s de way you feel about it. If yuh wants to be uh lil friendly and call me Tea Cakes, dat would be real nice.” He was closing and bolting windows all the time he talked.”
To be perfectly honest I am a little scared for Janie. Tea Cakes is acting like a perfect gentleman, helping her close up the store. But what if he turns out like both Logan and Jody. They both started treating her out all nice but then each marriage progressive took a downward slide. They both were abusive and both ignored her thoughts and feelings as a woman. I, like Janie, am jaded and hold a few skepticisms. She of course is aware of the apparent age difference, she 40 and Tea Cakes 25. However at times she seems too caught up in love that she must remind herself every so often what she is dealing with here.
“So she sat on the porch and watched the moon rise.
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Some of her images are simply breathtaking; the words she carefully chooses are so deliberate and poignant. The way each word seems to roll off the tongue and bring forth these vivid images, each word paired perfectly, amber fluid…drenching the earth…thirst of the day. Her beautiful poetry-like words do not only give the reader a chance to reflect. But for me her images remind me of how connected to the earth we are as people or at least how we should be.
“Anybody have uh Coca-Cola wid me?”
“AH just had one,” Janie temporized with her conscience
“It’ll hafter be done all over agin, Mis’ Starks.”
“’Cause it wasn’t done right dat time…”
Oh what a sweet talker he is…How can you not fall for the man with all the right words. He has everything going for him. He is young and seems to have a sincere interest in Janie. He has quite the charismatic tongue and he is genuinely honest and interesting.
“…she woke up with Tea Cake coming her hair and scratching the dandruff from her scalp. It made her more comfortable and drowsy.”
What love…he even scratched the dandruff from her scalp…:o) Seriously now, what a lovely image. Janie, tired and worn-out, is slumbering in the lap of TC. This young man is spellbound by her beautiful hair. Throughout the novel her hair has been her impression of beauty and youth. It has been down and flowing, braded and combed, tied up and pulled back. And now it is finally making ‘its way back down.’ I think her hair is the perfect symbol for her emotions. She as a young girl was free and careless, as was her hair. At point with Nanny her hair braded and tight, so too were her passions. With her marriages her hair was pulled back and hidden, as was her true self. Now she is feeling a new found freedom and she lets her hair down.
“things lak dat got uh whole lot tuh do with convenience, but it ain’t got nothin’ tuh do wid love.”
This quote is in reference to the busy bodies of the world and of the town. The topic of discussion was the age gap between the couple and Tea Cake is trying to make a point that it doesn’t matter. He truly believes that they could live in a world unto themselves where age has no consequence, where love can have no boundaries. I know I would like to thinks that is possible.
“…before she went to bed she took a look at her mouth, eyes, and hair.”
It is amazing the affects that other people have on ourselves; the way we think the way we act and even the way we view ourselves. Tea Cake, throughout the night, ‘whispers sweet nothings into her ears’ about her lips hair and eyes. And once he leaves then she reflects on her image in the mirror. I think the incident in rather interesting and staggeringly true.
“Janie, Ah hope God may kill me, if Ah’m lyin’. Nobody else on earth kin hold uh candle tuh you, baby. You got de keys to de kingdom.”
My reaction to this cannot be read on paper. I can’t seem to describe how light I feel, how taken back I am. So if you would like my true reaction you would have to see it on my face or feel it in my heart.
“Still and all, she’s her own woman.”
I like this concept. In the past she had been repressed by her two husbands and she was left to feel as if she was not as important, that her opinions did not matter as much as a man’s did. In Joe’s death, she was liberated. She begun to not care what others thought of her, weather she wore blue, or if it had only been 9 months after her husband’s death. Society’s men have been basically the same. Torvald was concerned with his reputation and Nora in the end had to do what was right for her. Now Janie is doing what is right for her and she will not let society stop her.
“Ah ain’t grievin’ so why do Ah hafta mourn? Tea Cake love me in blue, so Ah wears it. Jody ain’t never in his life picked out no color for me. De world picked out black and white for mournin’, Joe didn’t. So Ah wasn’t wearin’ it for him. Ah was wearin’ it for de rest of y’all.”
Again it is society that keeps us down. We have to follow along with what is deemed appropriate, leaving what we feel deep down inside not to be said. But Janie does not approve of this kind of living. She wants to do her own thing and I don’t blame her at all.
“Ah done lived Grandma’s way, now Ah means tuh live mine.”
Janie has done what Nanny wanted all her life. She married the man who could take care of her rather that Johnny Taylor, whom she first kissed at the gatepost. Love was set aside for security. And now that Jody is gone and Logan is not present and, Nanny has died she can start a new. Because “she knew that God tore down the old world every evening and built a new one by sun-up.” Tea Cakes was a new day, another chance for happiness.
“It was hard to love a woman that always made you feel so wishful.”
It is always easier to see things when you take a step back, when you move into reality. Janie is living in her dream world. She is ever so happy that she has found a man who loves her and that he wants to make a life with her. However all the onlookers see Janie’s hopefulness and see the other side; that she could get hurt again. It becomes hard for the people around her to enlighten her to the truth or the possibilities of what could happen. It sometimes is easier to learn the hard way.
“He drifted off into sleep and Janie looked down onto him and felt a self-crushing love. So her soul crawled out from its hiding place.”
She is like a butterfly; at first she crated a sheltered life in her self-generated cocoon. It was safe, she was out of harms way. She could be protected form the austerity of the outside world. But in her cocoon she could not be fully admired for her beauty or fully see the world around her. And so when she came out of her hiding place/cocoon, she could full love and be loved.