Their Eyes Were Watching God


Chapter 11-Chapter 15

Chapter 11

Janie is obviously interested in Tea Cake, but she does not want to let on to others that she is. For one thing, he is nearly 15 years her junior; for another thing, it is just possible that he is like so many other suitors—out to fleece her. She hesitates to ask Hezekiah (the other clerk) about Tea Cake. Instead, she makes up her mind that he is a flirt and decides to snub him when next he comes around.

But when Tea Cake reappears exactly a week later, she cannot resist his charms and soon the two are playing checkers to the delight of all. Some men stand over Janie and try to tell her how to move. When Hezekiah closes the shop, Janie and Tea Cake walk back to the house and he sits on the porch with her.

They laugh under the moonlight. She brings out cake, he picks lemons, and she makes lemonade. Then he declares that the moon is too pretty for anybody to be sleeping, and says that they should go fishing. They dig worms by lamplight. Tea Cake makes her feel like a child again, which is what she likes.

The next day Hezekiah tries to warn Janie that Tea Cake is good for nothing, but all he means is that Tea Cake is not like Joe, who was a mayor. Tea Cake just likes to have fun. He is a kind of innocent, of course—and that is why Janie is falling in love with him.

They finally have a serious discussion about their relationship. She is worried that she is too old for him and that he is too young—but he does not think so. The more she thinks about it, Tea Cake seems to be a “glance from God.”

Tea Cake comes early the next day to reassure Janie that he is not just a moonlight kind of guy and that his daytime thoughts are as real as his nighttime thoughts. They spend the day and night together. Tea Cake assures her that there is no one else like her, that she alone has the “keys to the kingdom.”

In this chapter, Janie’s dream appears to be coming true. She has not rushed off with Tea Cake, and run off after a half-realized...

Sign up to continue reading Chapter 11-Chapter 15 >

Essays About Their Eyes Were Watching God