CliffsNotes Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

By Megan E. Ash | Go to book overview

Chapter 10

Summary

Just about everyone in town has gone to a baseball game when Mr. Vergible Woods, better known as Tea Cake, arrives at Janie’s store. He discovers that he has come to the wrong town for the baseball game, but he stays to visit with Janie. He is a tall, smiling, happy young man who quickly makes Janie laugh. He invites her to play checkers and is astounded when she tells him that she doesn’t know the game. He teaches her how to play. Then, Tea Cake walks Janie home.


Commentary

The character of Vergible Woods, also known as Tea Cake, is introduced in Chapter 10. Tea Cake is a happy and attractive man, although he is 12 years younger than Janie. She is instantly attracted to his “full, lazy eyes, with the lashes curling sharply away like drawn scimitars. The lean, over-padded shoulders and narrow waist.” With Tea Cake’s arrival, Janie’s loneliness seems to disappear, and she enjoys herself for the first time in a long time. Even after only visiting with Tea Cake for a short period of time, Janie feels like she has known Tea Cake all of her life.

Tea Cake brings excitement and new experiences to Janie’s life, starting with the game of checkers. Joe forbid Janie to play the game with him or with other men, probably because that was another way he could exert his power and control over Janie. In addition, Joe would not want Janie to associate with the men of the town, since he would consider them a threat to his marriage with Janie. For Janie, this meeting with Tea Cake is truly just the beginning of her personal freedom and the new experiences that Tea Cake will offer her.


Glossary

kitchen matches These were a type of common household matches made for years by, among others, the Ohio Match Company. They

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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
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