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Their Eyes Were Watching God: Important Quotations

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The first ten chapters trace the journey through the life of Janie, who is a protagonist in the story. Jane experiences several changes in the first ten chapters with most of them being internal changes.
Some of the most significant external changes that feature in the first ten chapters are the development of a desire by her grandmother to get a husband who will offer her a good social status. The response to theses external changes is her marriage to former Logan Killicks. She is also taken to Eatonville by Joe, which is a black city in America. This internal change gives rise to her life as a mayor’s wife.

Janie watches a bee on a pear tree in her backyard pollinating a flower. The action obsesses her with getting true love. It is followed by her maturity and emotional growth through three marriages. The statement by Nany that black women are mules of the world influences Janie’s decision to marry Joe, who is described as ambitious and smoothed tongued. When her dream of finding true love dies, she becomes fed up with stifling and monotonous life and wishes to be part of social life.

Janie responds to her treatment by Joe at the big party at the store opening by ripping him to shreds before the townspeople. She tells them how impotent and ugly he is, and this eventually leads to her beating. Janie image changes to Joe when he attains a big voice (becomes mayor). He views Janie as a fitting ornament to his power and wealth and attempts to shape her into his opinion of how a mayor’s wife should be.

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After Joe’s death, Janie feels free for the first time throughout her life which is evidenced by her next step of dating Tea Cake. Her realization of how she feels about her grandmother has shaped her understanding of self as she explains she has warped her worldview. Janie’s response to her new found freedom after the death of Joe suggests her maturity in her growth as an individual.

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