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Questions for journal writing, in-class discussion, or small group analysis for Chapters 15-20.
Language Arts > General Language Arts > Literature Language Arts > Reading Comprehension
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Their Eyes Were Watching God Chapters 15-20
journal writing, in-class discussion, or small group analysis
Chapter 151. How do you view Tea Cake’s behavior in this chapter? What is your
opinion of his interactions with Nunkie, of Janie’s reactions, and of Tea
Cake’s resolutions?2. Can the things that happen between Janie and Tea Cake in this chapter
possibly reinforce positive aspects of their relationship? Chapter 161. What is the difference between “white” and “black” perceptions of God
as they are presented in this chapter? 2. Why do you think Zora Neale Hurston has Janie defend her commitment to
Tea Cake and to life on the Muck to another black person instead of to a white
person?Chapter 171. What is Janie’s role in this chapter? How does the situation that has
evolved with Mrs. Turner and the blacks on the muck played either to her
advantage or disadvantage? 2. What is the significance of the name “Turner”? What are the
characteristics of this family that play into the significance of the name? Chapter 181. What is significant about the way Tea Cake rejects the wisdom of the
Indians to leave the Muck ahead of the storm? [“Indians don’t know much uh
nothin’, tuh tell de truth. Else dey’d own ‘dis country still. De white folks
ain’t gone nowhere.”] What does this show you about how he has changed? 2. How does the comparison between Tea Cake and Big John de Conquer
foreshadow Tea Cake’s death?3. How do Tea Cake, Janie, and the others regard God (“Big Massa,” “Ole
Massa”) in this chapter? If God were a person, what would he look like, to
them? Draw on the important quotations in the chapter, such as “Six eyes were
questioning God” and “They seemed to
be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.”Chapter 191. There are only a few instances in this book where whites and blacks
interact. This chapter contains two of them. What do the burials of the dead
from the hurricane and the trial for Janie’s indictment of murdering Tea Cake
tell us about racial prejudice? Do whites treat blacks similarly in the two
2. How have Janie’s overalls come to be a symbol of her identity? What do
you think they represent to her? Chapter 20 1. Janie comes home to Eatonville with a clear philosophy about life.
Sitting on her back porch, she tells Pheoby, “… you got tuh go there to know there…Two things everybody’s got tuh do fuh theyselves. They
got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about livin’ fuh theyselves.”
What is the “there” Janie is referring to? What do these sentences mean to Janie?
What do they mean to you?