Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

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Chapter 4: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How does Logan treat Janie differently in the months that follow Nanny’s death?

2. What does Janie do when Logan threatens not to chop any wood for her?

3. Why does Logan want an extra mule?

4. Describe Joe as Janie first sees him.

5. As Joe walked down the road, “he acted like Mr. Washburn or somebody like that to Janie.” What does this imply?

6. Why does Joe want Janie to shake her head?

7. What does Janie mean when she says to Logan, “you don’t take nothin’ to count but sow-belly and cornbread”?

8. Why does Logan ask Janie to come to the barn while she is in the middle of cooking breakfast?

9. What does Logan look like with a shovel in his hand?

10. According to Janie, why is Logan mad at her words?

Answers
1. Logan has stopped talking in rhyme to her, and he no longer plays with her hair.

2. Janie tells Logan that if he stops chopping wood, she won’t make him any dinner.

3. He wants to have a large potato crop, and expects Janie to help him plow with one of the mules.

4. Joe was “seal-brown,” “cityfied,” and “stylish dressed.” He had on a silk shirt, with his coat hanging from his arm. His hat was worn at an angle, which indicated that he “didn’t belong in these parts.”

5. Joe’s confident stride is something that Janie has seen only in Mr. Washburn, and in her mind, that confidence is only in people who possess some sort of power. She is immediately interested in Joe because she has never seen a black man act with such confidence.

6. Joe loves to see Janie’s long hair move back and forth when she shakes her head.

7. Logan is concerned more with his crops and his farm than with his wife. As long as his dinner is made every night, it seems to Janie that anyone could be his wife.

8. Logan wants Janie to help him move a pile of manure into the barn.

9. Logan looks like “a black bear doing a clumsy dance on his hind legs” with a shovel in his hand.

10. Janie says that Logan is mad at her because he already knows that she doesn’t consider him or his land important. She also doesn’t feel the gratitude that he apparently expected from her. As she tells him how she feels, she also tells him that he shouldn’t be so mad because he already knew all of this.