CliffsNotes Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

By Megan E. Ash | Go to book overview

Chapter 14

Summary

The Everglades and Lake Okeechobee are Tea Cake’s territory. He knows the work, the bosses, the workers, and the camps. He and Janie arrive early so that they can get a room at a hotel where they will have access to a bathtub. Work in the muck is very dirty. They move on a few days later to a location where there is the assurance of work with a boss that Tea Cake likes. They rent a two-room house, which Janie soon turns into a home while Tea Cake plants beans. For diversion, Tea Cake proposes that he teach Janie how to handle guns and shoot.

The workers pour into the camp, but Tea Cake can’t make any extra money gambling because this is the start of the season, and nobody has any money. The lively life of migrants surrounds Janie. These people work hard all day and play hard at night. The jook joints are alive with activity, and Tea Cake and Janie’s house is an oasis for the other workers. Tea Cake sits in the doorway and entertains the people with his guitar and his stories.

At first, Janie only keeps house and cooks baked beans to please Tea Cake. When Janie grows tired of staying home and Tea Cake claims to be so lonesome for her that he has to take off work just to be with her, she decides to go to work with him. Together, they work and joke, and the migrants readily accept Janie. In the muck, Janie thinks about life in Eatonville and feels pity for the people there.


Commentary

In a short time, Janie gains acceptance from the other migrant workers, but only after enduring their initial judgments. After dealing with the boredom of keeping house and Tea Cake’s loneliness for her, Janie decides to work in the fields with her husband. Many of the migrant workers believed that Janie “thought herself too good to work like the rest of the women.” The workers pass judgment on Janie because she

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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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