What are two themes in Chapter 10-20 of Their Eyes Were Watching God?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the main themes of the second half of the book is that life does not always turn out the way we plan.

The second half of the book focuses on Janie and Tea Cake’s relationship.  At first, she does not want a relationship.  She does not see Tea Cake as a potential partner.  He slowly moves his way into her heart, and she finds that she can be happy with him.  Others disapprove of the relationship, and Janie resists it for a long time.  Yet when she marries Tea Cake and moves away with him, she finds happiness.

“Love is lak de sea. It’s uh movin’ thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore.” (ch 20, p. 191)

When Janie and Tea Cake make their new life, they are happy for a while.  Yet even then, her life does not turn out the way she planned.  She thought she would live comfortably with Tea Cake forever.  The hurricane and Tea Cake’s illness put an end to that.  She never could have pictured shooting him to save herself, but his rabid madness causes her to do just that.  Nothing in Janie’s life turns out the way she planned.