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copelmat eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Throughout Their Eyes Were Watching God, men are physically attracted to Janie's beauty, her hair, and her light skin. We see this in the very first chapter when Janie returns to Eatonville:

The men noticed her firm buttocks like she had grape fruits in her hip pockets; the great rope of long hair swinging to her waist and unraveling in the wind like a plume; then her pugnacious breasts trying to bore holes in her shirt. They, the men, were saving with the mind what they lost with the eye.

However, throughout the novel, many of the men are also unsure and even disappoving of Janie's self-assertion and her strong-willed behavior. They choose to see her as possession--a beautiful possession, but a possession nonetheless. Tea Cake is the obvious exception to this idea.

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Their Eyes Were Watching God

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