Their Eyes Were Watching God Chapter 7: Questions and Answers

Zora Neale Hurston

Chapter 7: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What did Janie get from Joe?

2. Explain the following sentence. “She sat and watched the shadow of herself going about tending store and prostrating itself before Jody, while all the time she herself sat under a shady tree with the wind blowing through her hair and her clothes.”

3. Why does Joe tell Janie to stop playing croquet?

4. How does Joe look older?

5. What mistake does Janie make in the store?

6. Why do people stop laughing at Joe’s insult of Janie’s body?

7. According to Janie, what has Joe “mixed up”?

8. How does Janie describe herself to Joe?

9. Who starts to tease Joe after Janie’s retort?

10. What does “playin’ de dozens” mean?

Answers
1. According to the novel, “she got nothing from Jody except what money could buy.”

2. Janie had withdrawn into herself so deeply that she now daydreams even when she talks with Joe and works around the store.

3. Joe tells Janie to stop playing because she will allegedly become so sore she won’t be able to get out of bed tomorrow.

4. Instead of sitting in a chair, Joe now just falls into it. His eyes are missing a little spark of life, and his belly, which was always prominent, now “sagged like a load suspended from his loins.”

5. The piece of tobacco that she cuts for Steve Mixon is too big.

6. They are a little ashamed of themselves after the impact of Joe’s insult is understood. There is nothing good-natured in Joe’s words; the customers are used to laughing at harmless teasing but this is clearly not the case here.

7. Joe has confused what Janie did with what Janie looks like.

8. Janie says that she looks her age, which means that she is a mature woman and not an old maid.

9. Walter and Lige Moss start to taunt Joe.

10. The “dozens” is a term used when two people have an exchange of insults in front of others. This style of verbal fighting is especially prominent in black American culture. The aim is to display verbal ability, as well as insult in a good natured way.