Chapter 7

  1. How old is Janie in this chapter?

2. What is the first paragraph of the chapter saying about how Janie

handles her “emotional disturbances”?

3. Janie compares herself with the earth in the 6th paragraph

of the chapter to make what point?

4. What are two signs of Joe’s aging?

5. What is a “pullet”?

6. Why does Joe criticize Janie when they are working in the store?

7. What is the mistake Janie makes that leads her to speak out against Joe’s insults of her?

8. How does Janie publically insult her husband?

9. How would the insult affect the way the townspeople viewed Joe?

10. How does Joe retaliate against Janie for insulting him?

Chapter 8

1. What does Joe do to try to manipulate Janie into thinking he hates her?

2. Who does Joe rely on to help him as a healer?

3. Who does Joe have cook for him? Why not Janie?

4. How long has Janie been with Joe by the time the events of this chapter occur?

5. How does Joe continue to demean Janie as his health deteriorates?

6. What is the medical reason for Joe’s decline?

7. How does Zora Neale Hurston personify Death? (What human characteristics does she give to the abstract idea of death?)

8. What is Janie’s purpose in forcing a conversation between her and Joe before he dies?

9. What does Janie mean by her use of the expression (in italics), “You

done lived wid me for twenty years and you don’t half know me atall. And you could have but you was so busy worshippin’ de works of yo’ own hands…”

10. Why does Janie look in the mirror after Joe’s death and what does she do as a result of what she sees there?

Chapter 9

1. What is Janie’s experience of Joe’s funeral, as it is captured in this sentence, “Janie sent her face to Joe’s funeral, and herself went rollicking with the springtime across the world”?

2. Which of Janie’s actions show her readiness to purge the confinement of her years with Joe from her life?

3. When Janie lies in the lonesome house at night and considers her options now that Joe is gone, what two things does she consider doing?

4. What does “Some people could look at a mud-puddle and see an ocean with ships” mean?

5. What happens once the word is out that Janie is a widow with property?

6. What are Ike Green’s opinions about Janie’s prospects that cause her to refer to him as an “ole pee-de-bed”?

7. How long has Joe been dead by the time the events of this chapter occur?

8. Which mannerisms or traits of Joe does Hezekiah exhibit?

9. What does Hezekiah do to help him handle the stresses of running the store?

10. What do Janie and Pheoby do together every once in awhile?

11. What will people say if they know Janie is enjoying her freedom, according to Pheoby?

Chapter 10

1. Where do Hezekiah and the townspeople go, leaving Janie alone in the

2. Where is the gentleman who enters the store at five-thirty from?
3. Why is the gentleman not at the baseball game?

4. What does his suggestion that Janie learn to play checkers make her feel?

5. What is Janie’s concern for the gentleman?

6. What are his two reasons for not sharing her concerns?

7. What is Tea Cake’s real name?

8. Name at least one way in which Tea Cake differs from Joe in his treatment of Janie in this chapter.

9. What does Tea Cake help Janie with at the end of the chapter?

10. Is Janie afraid of Tea Cake? Why or why not?

Chapter 11

1. In Janie’s opinion, why won’t a relationship between her and Tea Cake work?

2. Why does she prepare to snub Tea Cake the next time she sees him?

3. How does Tea Cake resist Janie’s attempts to snub him when he comes to the store?

4. What do Janie and Tea Cake snack on when they come to her house after a game of checkers?

5. What is Tea Cake’s reason for suggesting fishing at night?

6. Why does Janie smuggle Tea Cake out the back gate after fishing all night?

7. Why isn’t Tea Cake good enough for Janie, according to Hezekiah?

8. What does Tea Cake tell Janie about her beauty that no one has ever told her before?

9. What does Tea Cake say that plays into Janie’s fear that he is just a womanizer?

10. When Janie brings up the age difference between her and Tea Cake, how does he dispel her fear about it?

11. What does Tea Cake do to reassure Janie of his love for her?

Chapter 12

1. Where does Janie and Tea Cake’s relationship become public to the town?

2. What does Sam Watson suspect of Tea Cake and why does he want his wife Pheoby to talk to Janie about her involvement with Tea Cake?

3. How does where Janie chooses to go with Tea Cake threaten Pheoby’s idea about class and how where a person goes indicates their class status?

4. Why should Janie stop wearing bright colors, according to Pheoby?

5. Why does Pheoby think Janie should marry the man up in Sanford who has expressed interest in her?

6. Why is taking a chance on marriage to Tea Cake worth it to Janie, as she explains it?

7. What does she mean when she says, “Ah done lived Grandma’s way, now Ah means tuh live mine”?

8. Who is Annie Tyler and why does Pheoby bring her into the conversation with Janie?

9. What does Janie mean when she says of Tea Cake, “He done taught me de maiden language all over”?

10. What does Tea Cake do to show his adoration of Janie and their marriage?

Chapter 13

1. Janie leaves Eatonville early one morning on the train for Jacksonville. Of those who watched her leave, the narrator says that “It was hard to love a woman that always made you feel so wishful.” What does this statement mean?

2. What is Janie’s reaction to her reunion with Tea Cake and their marriage?

3. Why doesn’t she tell him about the money she has pinned inside her shirt?

4. What is Janie reaction when she realizes Tea Cake has left with her money?

5. What story is she haunted by as she waits for Tea Cake to return?

6. What is the moral of that story, according to Pheoby and everyone who knew about it?

7. What is Janie’s heart telling her as she waits for Tea Cake?

8. What has Tea Cake done with Janie’s money?

9. Why didn’t he invite Janie to the party he threw?

10. What happens to Tea Cake when he tries to win Janie’s money back gambling?

11. What does the whole episode of stealing Janie’s money and then winning it back lead Tea Cake to promise her?

Chapter 14

1. What is striking about the new horizon Janie reaches in the Everglades? What are traits of the natural world that are new for her?

2. Why does Tea Cake believe it’s beneficial for them to arrive there in early September?

3. Why does Tea Cake teach Janie how to shoot a gun?

4. “Tea Cake’s house was a magnet” meant that what happened there? Why?

5. Why does Tea Cake take breaks from picking beans and come back to see Janie in the middle of the work day?

6. Why is it surprising to the other workers when Janie comes to work in the bean field?

7. What does Tea Cake fear Janie will think if he asks her to work alongside him in the field?

8. When Janie recalls her old days in the big white house and the store in Eatonville, what does she feel? What’s the main difference in the two places, for her?

9. What are the names of the characters who Janie comes to know at the night gatherings?

10. What does Ed say he is going to do with the money he wins gambling with the others?

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