In Chapter 11 of Their Eyes Were Watching God,what does Janie wish for herself?What does Janie wish for herself?

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copelmat | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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In Chapter 11, we see the true beginnings of a relationship between Tea Cake and Janie developing. However, after all of her years in Eatonville with Joe, Janie is suspicious of her own feelings and the reactions of the others in town. In fact, when Tea Cake expresses his feelings for Janie, she replies with the following line:

"Aw, Tea Cake, you just say dat tuhnight because de fish and corn bread tastes sort of good. Tomorrow yo' mind would change."

However, by the next day Janie is second guessing even herself, struggling to come to terms with her conflicting feelings toward Tea Cake and the reactions of Eatonville:

"All next day in the house and store she thought resisting thoughts about Tea Cake. She even ridiculed him in her mind and was a little ashamed of the association. But every hour or two the battle had to be fought all over again. She couldn't make him look just like any other man to her. He looked like the love thoughts of women. He could be a bee to a blossom--a pear tree in blossom in the spring. He seemed to be crushing scent out of the world with his footsteps. Crushing aromatic herbs with every step he took. Spices hung about him. He was a glance from God.

Tea Cake is able to revive in Janie her visions of the pear tree and, just as before, "dawn and doom was in the branches." Now tempered from her relationships with Logan and Joe, Janie is wiser to the ways of the world and more suspicious of love. However, her feelings for Tea Cake are too strong to be denied.

And when Tea Cake returns to confirm his feelings for Janie, the battle between her own emotions and her sensitivity to the reactions of the townspeople must be waged one final time over their attendance at the Sunday School picnic. In the final lines of chapter, Janie states and Tea Cake replies:

"Well, all right, Tea Cake, Ah wants tuh go wid you real bad, but,--oh, Tea Cake, don't make no false pretense wid me!"

"Janie, Ah hope God may kill me, if Ah'm lyin'. Nobody else on earth kin hold uh candle tuh you, baby. You got de keys to de kingdom."

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