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Hajir Sailors

AP English
Summer Reading Log

Their Eyes Were Watching God-Chapter 10

This chapter is written to show that times have now changed, things can move on.
We see the town fully functioning without the need for Joe Starks, we see the store fully
functioning without the need for Joe or even Hezekiah, and we see Janie Starks ready to
move on. This chapter marks a new change in the book where we can allude to the line,
“Women forget all those things they don’t want to remember…” (Neale-Hurston, 1)
Janie Starks would rather not remember Joe anymore by this time, so she forgets.
We find a man with a sly grin walk into the store, one of two people in the town
because it’s the day of a big game. Janie is very pleased to have someone so nice in the
store, sells him his pack of smokes and then he stays to ask a few questions. They talk
for a bit and then he offers to play checkers with her. For Janie this is something new,
her whole life she’s watched other people play checkers, the men, being told she couldn’t
play because she was the mayor’s wife, not the mayor. She really respected the man, “He
set it up and began to show her and she found herself glowing inside. Somebody wanted
her to play. Somebody thought it natural for her to play.” (95-96) For the fourth time in
the book Janie has found a man, and this time she actually respects him. She doesn’t go
for him right away though, a mistake she’s made before. But we see she cares, because
she’s worried about him because he lives so far away. She suggests he takes the train but
he says he can walk, he’s used to it. Then she realizes that she doesn’t have his name yet
and halfway through the book we are introduced to the character that was mentioned back
in chapter 1, Vergible Woods, better known as Tea Cake.
Tea Cake and Janie play around a bit and it isn’t until he helps her lock up and
walks her home that she feels at all worried about Tea Cake being another man, but when
he simply leaves her at her door doesn’t attempt to make a move or anything of the sort
her respect for the man is heightened. Zora Neale-Hurston leaves us with a picture to
finish the chapter, “So she sat on the porch and watched the moon rise. Soon it’s amber
fluid was drenching the earth, and quenching the thirst of the day.” (99) Tea Cake had
just had the same effect on Ms. Janie Starks as the moon had on the earth.

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