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How do these lines reflect the fulfillment of Janie's love and loss of Tea Cake in...

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dbscodnjs94 | Honors

Posted March 24, 2013 at 9:04 PM via web

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How do these lines reflect the fulfillment of Janie's love and loss of Tea Cake in Their Eyes Were Watching God?

 
 



There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;--
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

The Rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the Rose,
The Moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare,
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where'er I go,
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.
 
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.
 
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 28, 2013 at 5:13 PM (Answer #1)

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It is fitting that this Wordsworth poem is called "Ode on Intimations of Immortality," because Janie is reflecting on who Tea Cake has become, now that he is dead, and who she has become, having had and lost him.

During the course of the book, Jane goes from loss to love to loss again.  Her first relationship was not satisfactory.  She did not feel like she was going to find love.

Janie feels that although she has lost Tea Cake, he is still with her.  This is demonstrated in these lines, which focus on celebrating the times you had together rather than grieving for lost love.

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,…

We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind….

Janie will survive.  She is stronger because of what she has been through.  In the short time she had with Tea Cake, she became self-actualized.  She became her own person, and a strong and confident person.  She still loves him, and will always love him, as demonstrated by the book’s ending.

Then Tea Cake came prancing around her where she was and the song of the sigh flew out the window and lit in the top of the pine trees.  Tea Cake, with the sun for a shawl. (Ch 20, p. 193)

Janie does not regret loving Tea Cake, and she has come to terms with having lost him.  She realizes that she will survive, and live her life without him.  He will always be a part of her.

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