What is the result of Joe's suggestion that the town  incorporate and elect a mayor in Their Eyes Were Watching God?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After Joe and Janie step off the train in Chapter 5, they look for the mayor of the new town of Eatonville. But, when he learns there is no major, Joe informs the men there that because he is purchasing much land, he wants to form a committee to organize the town. The next day, Joe Starks takes charge, organizing people to build a store while he himself drives from town to town, recruiting people to the burgeoning town.  

Soon people are purchasing the land from Joe that he has bought. When his store is constructed, Joe already has the canned goods piled on the floor. Further, Joe knows better how to speak publicly and takes "the center of the floor." It is not long, then, before he is elected mayor of the new town, organizing a barbecue of three hogs to lure new residents.

By five o'clock the twon was full of every kind of a vehicle and swarming with people. They wanted to see that lamp lit at dusk.

"De first street lamp in uh colored town. Lif yo'eyes and gaze on it," Joe lights the gaslight and the town says a prayer, singing, too.  But, late in the night, when Joe asks Jane how she likes being "Mrs. Mayor," she replies, 

"It's all right Ah reckon, but don't uyh think it keeps us in uh kinda strain?"

"....Ah ain't even started good. Ah told ou in de very first beginnin' dat Ah aimed tuh be un big voice. You oughta be glad, 'cause dat makes un big woman outa you."

It is a feeling of "coldness and fear" that overcomes Janie; for, she has a presentiment that their relationship has been altered, and Janie feels distanced and lonely.


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Their Eyes Were Watching God

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