In Their Eyes were watching God, what does Janie's grandma have to say about the white man and power? 

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Janie's grandma in Their Eyes were watching God never realised that life could ever be different  or expected things to change;she lived and worked within the confines of unfairness and a racial structure having been a former slave, abused by her 'master.'

Nanny dreams of betterment but accepts her lot

Honey, de white man is de ruler of everything as fur as Ah been able tub find out. Maybe it’s some place off in de ocean where de black man is in power, but we don’t know nothin’ but we see..

Nanny protects Janie the only way she can and teaches her that the

nigger woman is de mule uh de world.

Nanny, infact, understands that, although the ultimate power appears to rest with 'the white man,' even a 'black' man will

  hand it to his womenfolks 

Janie is severely affected by her grandma's picture of life and struggles all her life to find 'freedom' but she does eventually come to appreciate her grandma's efforts to ensure she would be comfortable.

Nanny does dream of a better life for Janie but it must begin with marriage  - the only way she knows- and, despite not loving him, Janie marries Logan Killicks

a man who will offer her "protection."

Refer to the enotes study guide and navigate to the characters to get a better understanding of the role of Nanny and the other characters that reinforce the culture of oppression from this era, that Nanny is so afraid of.  

Read the study guide:
Their Eyes Were Watching God

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