Illustration of the profile of Janine Crawford and another person facing each other

Their Eyes Were Watching God

by Zora Neale Hurston

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Chapter 16: Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. Where do Tea Cake and Janie go now that the season is over and most of the people are leaving?

2. Describe Mrs. Turner.

3. How does Tea Cake joke about Mrs. Turner’s appearance?

4. Mrs. Turner guesses to Janie that Tea Cake is very rich. Why?

5. What does Mrs. Turner believe should be done about the “black race”?

6. According to Janie, why do white people want to stay away from blacks?

7. Why is Mrs. Turner so proud of her brother?

8. What does Tea Cake intend to do about Mrs. Turner’s insults?

9. Why does Tea Cake accuse Mrs. Turner of “making God look foolish”?

10. How does Mrs. Turner feel when she is with Janie?

1. Tea Cake and Janie spend a lot of time with the Bahaman workers, the so-called “Saws.” They would put on a dance almost every evening.

2. Mrs. Turner is a woman with a “milky” color who always sticks out her pelvis as if “she [was] conscious of it.”

3. Tea Cake thinks that Mrs. Turner must have been kicked in the backside by a cow to get that shape. He also calls her “an ironing board with things throwed at it.”

4. It amazes Mrs. Turner that someone as light as Janie would choose someone who looks like Tea Cake without an ulterior motive.

5. Mrs. Turner believes it is necessary for blacks to “lighten up de race” and that light-skinned blacks should “class off” from dark-skinned blacks.

6. Janie figures that whites hate blacks because most blacks are “too poor.”

7. Mrs. Turner claims that her brother once won a debate against Booker T. Washington.

8. Tea Cake intends to boycott her café and tell his friends to stay away from the café as well.

9. Mrs. Turner is able to “find fault with everything” that God made.

10. Mrs. Turner feels that when she is with Janie she becomes “whiter,” with straight hair and Caucasian features.

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Chapter 17: Questions and Answers