Their Eyes Were Watching God Chapter 5: Questions and Answers
by Zora Neale Hurston

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Chapter 5: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What does Joe buy for Janie as they are traveling to Eatonville?

2. Describe the town as it is when Joe and Janie first arrive.

3. When Joe leaves town for the first time, who stays behind, and why?

4. How does Lee Coker respond to Amos Hicks and his criticism of Janie?

5. How does Hicks respond to Joe’s announcement that he is going to get a post office for Eatonville?

6. Why is Tony Taylor upset at Lige Moss during the party celebrating the store’s grand opening?

7. How does Joe decide to celebrate the arrival of the street lamp?

8. Describe the Starks’ new house.

9. What did the phrase “Our beloved Mayor” mean to the residents of Eatonville?

10. Describe the incident between Henry Pitts and Joe Starks.

Answers
1. Joe bought Janie some apples and a candy dish that looked like a lantern.

2. When Janie and Joe first come to Eatonville, they are surprised to find it hardly a town at all. It is described in the novel as a “scant dozen of shame-faced houses scattered in the sand.”

3. Amos Hicks stays behind in order to introduce himself to Janie and offer her any assistance she might need. Janie knows what sort of “assistance” Hicks means and politely refuses.

4. Lee Coker knows that Hicks is pretending that he doesn’t like Janie only to make himself feel better after Janie rejected him.

5. Hicks laughs, saying that Starks is talking without doing anything. However, he feels a little nervous because he believes that Starks can get a post office, and “he wasn’t ready to think of colored people in post offices yet.”

6. Tony Taylor is mad because Lige Moss interrupts “the one speech of his lifetime,” which was being made to welcome the Starks couple to Eatonville.

7. Joe arranges a barbecue to celebrate the town’s first street lamp.

8. The Starks’ house, which is called the “big house,” is two stories high with porches and banisters. It is also painted bright white. All of the other houses look like “servants’ quarters” when compared with the Starks’ home.

9. According to the novel, the phrase “our beloved Mayor” is a phrase like “God is everywhere.” Everybody says it but no one believes it.

10. Joe catches Henry Pitts trying to steal a load of his sugar cane and banishes him from the town. The other townspeople feel this is harsh because Starks was so wealthy and he didn’t lose the load that Pitts was trying to take.