As the sun sets in a southern town, a mysterious mrs trudges down the main road. The neighborhood residents, gathered top top Pheoby Watson’s porch, know her, and also they keep in mind her muddy overalls v satisfaction. Plainly resentful, castle talk around how she had previously left the town through a younger man and also gleefully speculate the he took she money and left her for a younger woman. Castle envy her physical beauty, an especially her long, right hair. She doesn’t prevent to speak to them, and also they interpret her pass by together aloofness. She name, the is revealed, is Janie Starks, and also the fellow with who she ran turn off is called Tea Cake.

You are watching: Their eyes were watching god chapter 2 summary

Pheoby criticizes the other women ~ above the porch for their malicious gossip and sticks up because that Janie. She excuses herself and also visits Janie’s home, bringing Janie a bowl of food. Janie laughs when Pheoby repeats the other women’s speculations to her. Janie describes that she has actually returned alone due to the fact that Tea Cake is gone however not for the reasons that the crowd on the porch assumes. She has returned indigenous living v Tea Cake in the Everglades, she explains, because she can no longer be happy there. Pheoby doesn’t recognize what she means, for this reason Janie starts to tell she story.

Summary: thing 2


he thousand sister-calyxes arch to accomplish the love take on . . . The ecstatic shiver of the tree . . . Therefore this was a marriage!

See crucial Quotations Explained


Janie is increased by her grandmother, Nanny. She never ever meets her mommy or she father. Janie and also Nanny inhabit a home in the backyard that a white couple, Mr. And also Mrs. Washburn. She plays v the Washburns’ children and thinks that she it s her is white till she look at a photo of herself. The children at the Black school mock Janie for living in a white couple’s backyard and tease her about her derelict parents. They often remind her that Mr. Washburn’s dogs pursued her father under after he gained her mom pregnant, despite they ignore to mention that the actually want to marry her. Nanny eventually buys part land and a house because she thinks that having their own location will be far better for Janie.

When Janie is sixteen, she regularly sits under a blossoming pear tree, deeply moved by the photos of productive springtime. One day, caught up in the atmosphere of her budding sexuality, she kisses a local boy called Johnny Taylor. Nanny captures Janie with Johnny and also decides to marry Janie off to Logan Killicks, a affluent middle-aged farmer. She desires to check out Janie in a secure situation, i m sorry Logan Killicks have the right to provide, prior to she dies. She states that black color women room the mules that the world and that she doesn’t want Janie to it is in a mule.

Janie protests, and also Nanny recounts to her the hardships the she has experienced. Nanny to be born into slavery. She to be raped by her master and, a mainly after her daughter Leafy was born, her understand went to fight during the critical days the the polite War. The master’s wife was furious to check out that Leafy had gray eyes and light hair and also thus to be obviously she husband’s daughter. She to plan to have Nanny viciously whipped and to sell Leafy once she was a month old. Nanny escaped with her baby and the two hid in the swamps till the war was over. Afterward, Nanny began working because that the Washburns. Her dreams of a far better life because that Leafy finished when Leafy to be raped by she schoolteacher. After giving birth to Janie, irpari went out drinking every night and eventually ran off. Nanny moved her wishes to Janie.

Analysis: Chapters 1–2

Their eye Were watching God begins at the end of the story: we very first see Janie ~ she has already grown old, concluded the adventures that she will relate, and been “tuh de horizon and back.” her story then spins out of her own mouth together she sits talk to Pheoby. Native the really beginning that the book, then, language plays a an important role; the publication is framed much more as an plot of telling than the writing. Even before Janie speaks, us hear the murmur that the gossips ~ above the porch: “A atmosphere come alive. Indigenous walking there is no masters.” transparent the book, speech—or much more accurately, the control of language—proves crucially important. These very first chapters introduce the essential and facility role that language and speech will certainly play transparent the novel.

One the the most commented-upon aspects of the novel is Hurston’s break-up style that narrative. The book begins in an omniscient, third-person narrator’s voice, one that is decidedly literary and also intellectual, complete of metaphors, figurative language, and other poetic devices. This voice anchors the entire novel and also is plainly separate native Janie’s voice. Hurston splits the narrative in between this voice and also long passages of dialogue uninterrupted by any comment from the narrator. These passages are significant by their extremely colloquial language, colorful folksy aphorisms (“Unless you view de fur, a mink skin ain’t no different from a coon hide”), and avoidance of standard Written English. These inexplicable passages storage a rich folk tradition the is not frequently expressed top top the page.

The oscillation between Standard composed English and also Black Vernacular English mirrors among the novel’s central themes: the importance of managing language. Transparent the book, we view Janie struggle with her own voice and also control of language. As gates writes in one afterword contained in most contemporary editions that the book, Hurston views the “search for voice” together the specifying quest of one’s lifetime. The separated style that narration, however, suggests that the quest is complicated and lacks a singular resolution. Gates argues, “Hurston provides the 2 voices in her message to celebrate the emotional fragmentation that both modernity and of the black color American...ers is a rhetoric that division, rather than a fiction of psychological or cultural unity.”

Against this division, though, Hurston, in ethereal ways, opens up lines that communication between the 2 narrative styles. The third-person narrator is a voice that, while different from Janie’s, partakes of figures and experiences in Janie’s world. Hurston colour the narrator’s sophisticated prose through colloquialisms, favor the “Now” that opens the novel’s 2nd paragraph, nature metaphors, and also a tone that reveals that the narrator delights in storytelling as lot as any of the characters. Since of these qualities, the stare voice is more than simply the absence of dialect; the narrator has actually a personality the is related, though no identical, to those the the characters. Hurston’s affection for black color folklore and also dialect is noticeable not just in its raw presentation in dialogue type but also in the traces it leaves on her high prose. The subtlety of the traces permits her to incorporate the commonly divergent layouts into one aesthetic whole; the formats remain in tension however can speak come one another.

In thing 2, an essential symbol is introduced: Janie’s moment under the pear tree is a specifying moment in she life and one the is referenced throughout the book. This endure relates symbolically to several themes: many obviously, Janie resonates through the sexuality that the springtime moment, and also for the rest of the book, the pear tree serves together her traditional of sexual and also emotional fulfillment. At very first glance, the tree appears to mirror timeless gender stereotypes: the tree (the female) waits passively because that the aggressive male bee that penetrates that blossoms. However Hurston’s cautious language tweaks stereotypical notions the the woman role: “the thousands sister calyxes arch to satisfy the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree. . . .” back the tree waits for the come of the bee, the love adopt is reciprocal.

See more: Debtors Are Interested In The Number Of Times Interest Charges Are Earned Because They Want To

From the opening passage of the book, it is clear the men and also women room seen as essentially different. Janie doesn’t desire a male identity but rather a female one to parallel a male one; in the natural world, male and female impulses enhance each other, creating a perfect union in a shared embrace. Each offers the other what the other needs but does not yet possess. This appropriate of love and also fulfillment is in ~ the facility of Janie’s pursuit throughout the book.