CliffsNotes Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

By Megan E. Ash | Go to book overview

Chapter 1

Summary

The porch sitters are spread out on the front porch of Pheoby and Sam Watson’s home, happy to be free of the responsibilities of their long day’s labor. They are astonished to see a bedraggled and weary-looking Janie Starks trudging into town, then turning her face in their direction. The women see her as a disaster, but the men see her as still possessing physical attraction. Janie speaks, acknowledges them, and goes on, and their indignation is great. How could she have the nerve not to stop and explain why she went off a year and a half ago in a blue satin dress and now she returns in dirty overalls?

Surely her husband—they assume she married the man, the guitarplaying, roving Tea Cake—took her money and probably went off with a younger woman. After all, Tea Cake was nearly ten years younger than Janie. They believe that Janie should have stopped and talked to them. The inherent jealousy of the women is quite apparent.

Janie’s friend Pheoby defends her to the porch sitters. Pheoby believes that Janie does not have to share any of her personal business with them. Assuming that Janie is hungry, Pheoby volunteers to take Janie a pot of mulatto rice, and soon she finds her way through the darkness to Janie’s back steps. Pheoby’s motive is not completely unselfish. She is quietly certain that Janie will talk to her and explain what happened during the past year and a half. Janie welcomes her friend and the gift of food. She informs Pheoby that Tea Cake did not run off with the money that Joe left her. She reveals that the money is safe in the bank, but Tea Cake is dead. After Janie has rested for a while, cleaned and soothed her tired feet, and enjoyed the rice, she tells Pheoby about her months with Tea Cake.


Commentary

Their Eyes Were Watching God opens with a focus on judgment, a powerful and prevalent theme in the novel. As Janie returns to Eatonville after a lengthy absence, the porch sitters treat her especially

-20-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
CliffsNotes Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Table of Contents iii
  • How to Use This Book vi
  • Life and Background of the Author 1
  • Introduction to the Novel 11
  • Critical Commentaries 19
  • Chapter 1 20
  • Chapter 2 24
  • Chapter 3 27
  • Chapter 4 29
  • Chapter 5 32
  • Chapter 6 36
  • Chapter 7 41
  • Chapter 8 43
  • Chapter 9 46
  • Chapter 10 48
  • Chapter 11 50
  • Chapter 12 52
  • Chapter 13 54
  • Chapter 14 57
  • Chapter 15 59
  • Chapter 16 60
  • Chapter 17 62
  • Chapter 18 64
  • Chapter 19 66
  • Chapter 20 69
  • Character Analyses 71
  • Critical Essays 81
  • CliffsNotes Review 89
  • CliffsNotes Resource Center 93
  • Index 95
  • Notes 101
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 106

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.