Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

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List of Characters

Janie Crawford

Janie Crawford is the novel's black female narrator and protagonist. Their Eyes were Watching God is a bildungsroman that follows Janie's formative years, beginning in her youth. Raised by her grandmother, Nanny Crawford, Janie is a precocious, romantic teenager, admired for her lighter skin and beauty. (Read our extended character analysis of Janie Crawford.)

Joe “Jody” Starks

Joe “Jody” Starks is Janie’s second husband, whom she meets during her unfulfilling first marriage to Logan Killicks. Janie is drawn to Jody because he is able to offer her what she desires, including adventure, riches, and prosperity. (Read our extended character analysis of Joe “Jody” Starks.) 

Tea Cake

Vergible Woods, or “Tea Cake,” is Janie’s third husband, who serves as a foil to her previous husband, Joe Starks. Whereas Joe was only concerned with status and wealth, Tea Cake works as a blue-collar migrant agricultural laborer in Florida. He does not control Janie, and he allows her to express herself in any way she desires. (Read our extended character analysis of Tea Cake.) 

Minor Characters

In addition to the following characters, extended character analysis is available for the more notable minor characters in Their Eyes Were Watching God: Nanny Crawford, Logan Killicks, Mrs. Turner, and Phoeby Watson.

Bootnyny, Coodemay, Ed Dockery, ‘Lias, Muck-Boy, Sop-de-Bottom, Sterrett, Stew Beef

These men are migrant laborers in the Everglades. Many are Tea Cake’s friends who are involved in the fight at Mr. and Mrs. Turner’s restaurant. 

Leafy Crawford 

Leafy is Janie’s mother, who ran away after giving birth to Janie.

Motor Boat

Motor Boat is Tea Cake’s friend who flees with...

(The entire section is 429 words.)