Their Eyes Were Watching God Questions and Answers
by Zora Neale Hurston

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Whose voice do we not hear during the trial in Their Eyes Were Watching God? What is the significance of this silence?

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Toward the end of the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie is on trial for shooting and killing Tea Cake. Tea Cake suffered from an unnamed medical condition, which worsened shortly before Janie shot him. Janie shot Tea Cake in self-defense, as his condition afflicted his psychological stability to the point that Janie feared for her life. And because she shot Tea Cake, she is now in fear for her life while in the courthouse.

There are a number of people who speak during the trial. Of course, the attorneys prosecuting and defending Janie speak, as does the judge. In the courthouse, there are white Americans serving as officers of the court, jurors, and audience members, in addition to the African Americans who are in attendance, mainly as spectators. Hurston describes the difference in the groups’ urge to speak in the courthouse:

So it was all ready after a...

(The entire section contains 475 words.)

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