The Eyes Were Watching God
Janie’s marriage to Tea cake is very unique. It just started from the store where Janie was working and Tea cake visited as a customer. From the onset, they clicked, they could engage in conversation and understand each other. She was still wording mourning the death of her husband Joe. The gap between Tea cake and Janie is 12 years. They soon begin a relationship even though Tea cake was poor. Janie did not mind the financial status of Tea cake although her colleagues were suspicious of Tea cake. They believed he wanted a relationship with Janie to use her.
For Janie, Tea Cake is exactly the man she had been wishing for. Tea cake is compassionate, caring and loving. He is very attentive and loving to Janie. He even borrows money from Janie and promises to repay back, and he does. For instance, he borrowed 200 to go and gamble, he won and paid back. He promises to never borrow from Janie again, “From now on, you gointuh eat whatever mah money can buy yuh and wear the same. When Ah ain’t got nothin’ you don’t git nothin’” (128).
The couple soon move out to work in the Muck. Tea Cake is the one doing the work while Janie stays at home. Tea cake started by going to work alone but could not stand not having Janie’s company. This is what is unique about the relationship between Tea cake and Janie unlike with the other two guys. They loved and enjoyed their company and could not stay away from each other. Tea Cake invited Janie to work not because she wanted her to work like her former husband Logan Killicks, but because he wants her company. He really loves her and cannot stay far away from her.
The love between Janie and Tea Cake blossoms as they work together in the field. The marriage becomes blissful. They endure and enjoy so much together. Onetime Janie suspects Tea Cake of cheating but Tea Cake reassures her of his faithfulness. This is really a different relationship and marriage compared with the other two men. There is a different form of understanding between the two. There are les arguments. Toward the end, a hurricane hits and Janie is about to be carried away by the water. Tea Cake came to her rescue and risking his life in the process, confirming the love which Tea Cake had for her. He was bitten by a dog, as he tried to save Janie as she held through the tail of a cow. Tea Cake contacted rabies and turned mad. He tried to kill Janie but Janie intervened and shot before he could. His madness drove him to do so. Janie loved him and he died in her arms.
When Tea Cakes marriage to Janie is compared with that of Joe, Joe was more controlling and more interested in himself than Janie. “It had always has been his wish and desire to be a big voice” (28). Joe controlled Janie and made her work for him. He did not give her freedom, or love and care. He just wanted to be in charge. They were also arguing and Joe was jealous of Janie and tells her to cover her face to hide her beauty. It was clearly an unhappy and stressful marriage. Also, her first marriage to Logan was also unfulfilling as did not respect her and viewed her as a spoiled woman. They did not cooperate or understand each other. Logan is an older man and treats Janie more like a possession than a wife. Janie finally realizes that there is nothing good in the marriage and leaves the old man. It is clear that the relationship with Tea Cake was the most fulfilling and made Janie confident and feel loved. It is the best of her three marriages as she is valued and loved by her younger husband Tea Cake.
Molter, Cheri D. “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”