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Hajir Sailors

AP English
Summer Reading Log

Their Eyes Were Watching God-Chapter 2

This chapter starts out where chapter one left off; Janie talking to Phoeby about
her life. Janie starts off by telling Phoeby that she never saw her Papa and that she was
brought up by her grandma. She assimilated herself into white society so well that she
didn’t even realize she was black until she turned six and saw herself in a picture with her
white children friends and she didn’t recognize herself. This is a huge point in the fact
that this shows us Janie never fully realizes she is black, and every time she comes
around to remembering that she is black she is brought down to earth. Some of the
examples of this are shown further along in the chapter when she says, “Us lived dere
havin’ fun till de chillum at school got to teasin’ me ‘bout livin’ in de white folks’ back
yard…” (Neale-Hurston, 9). Janie goes on to describe a girl named Mayrella that used to
pick on her. She describes to Phoeby how it was not only the factthat she was living in a
white person’s back yard but the scandal between her two parents, how people still
brought that up to the day. Janie didn’t find this fair at all, but she made sure it never
“crumpled her feathers”.
Janie goes on in a description of her love, she turns her love into a metaphorical
pear tree that is blossoming. Her example of this pear tree is Johnny Taylor, the boy she
kisses when Nanny wakes up in the middle of the night. When the Nanny sees this she
loses her head and starts hitting Janie, but finally tells Janie why she is doing that, it is
because she wants Janie to live a better life than Janie’s mother did. Nanny is Janie’s
Grandmother and she tells Janie she cares and loves her and wants to marry her to
someone who will care and love her just as much, because she is not going to be living
much longer. The grandma goes into a full narrative changing the pace of the chapter,
she explains to Janie how she had her mother, and how she had to run off right as the
civil war was ending because if she had not she would have been beaten to death.
She finishes off the chapter by telling Janie of her mother’s life and how she had
protected Janie’s mother for a long time but one day her mother was taken by the school
teacher and raped, just at the age of seventeen. The Grandma goes on to explain that this
is why she’s so protective of Janie, so Janie needs to understand that.. She finishes off
the chapter asking for sympathy from Janie, telling her “Put me down easy Janie. Ah’m a
cracked plate.” (20) The grandma has basically now been foreshadowed to die in the
near future and she says she has been used so many times that she ks now broken, and
just ike a plate that is cracked, it holds things, but not as well as it could, and it definitely
is not pretty.