Their Eyes Were Watching God

Reading Questions, Chapters 1-6

Chapters 1-2

  1. Name two reasons why Janie is judged by the townspeople as she passes by them on her way home.
  2. Why does Pheoby Watson sympathize with Janie?
  3. What does Pheoby mean when she says, “An envious heart makes a treacherous ear”?
  4. What do the townspeople want to know about Janie, according to Pheoby?
  5. What does Janie say is the only reason she is back home from the Everglades?
  6. Why doesn’t Janie have to explain herself to the townspeople, in her opinion?
  7. Why doesn’t Janie see herself as black until she sees a photograph of herself as a child?
  8. Give two examples of ways in which the Washburns are good to Nanny and Janie.
  9. What is Nanny’s reaction to seeing Janie kissing Johnny Taylor over the gate?
  10. Nanny arranges for Logan Killicks to marry Janie because she is afraid of what?
  11. When Nanny refers to herself as a “cracked plate,” what does she mean?
Chapter 3

  1. What is the assumption that Janie makes about marriage to quell (suppress) her own fears of marrying Logan Killicks?
  2. How does Mrs. Washburn support Janie’s wedding?
  3. What does Nanny initially believe about why Janie has come to talk to her?
  4. Why has Janie actually come to talk to Nanny?
  5. How do Janie’s values differ from Nanny’s, where marriage is concerned?
  6. Name at least two reasons why Janie does not like Logan.
  7. What does “mien” mean as it is used at the beginning of the second to last paragraph of the chapter?
  8. What clues indicate that Nanny knows Janie’s marriage to Logan is not right?
  9. How does Janie measure time? What does her way of doing it tell you about her?
  10. Why is it significant that Janie stands around the gate as she waits for something new to happen to her?
  11. What is Janie’s dream that has died, allowing her to become a woman?
Chapter 4

  1. What are two things that Logan stops doing that indicate a turning point in the relationship? What is the significance of these two changes for Janie?
  2. What does Logan Killicks want Janie to do while he is away buying the mule?
  3. What does Janie do to attract the attention of the stylish man, Joe Starks, who is walking down the road towards her house?
  4. What motivates Joe to travel to Florida and begin his life anew there?
  5. Where do pretty women belong, according to Joe?
  6. Why does Joe think that Janie should leave Logan?
  7. Why wouldn’t Janie have any luck with other men, according to Logan?
  8. In what specific way(s) does Logan insult Janie?
  9. What language tells you that Janie has experienced a rebirth at the end of the chapter?
  10. How do the clothes mentioned (apron and new clothes of silk and wool) at the end of the chapter reinforce the idea the notion of Janie’s transformation?
Chapter 5

  1. How does Janie’s relationship with Joe appear to be positive for her?
  2. Why is it significant that Joe does not speak in rhymes with Janie?
  3. What are Janie and Joe’s first reactions to the town of Eatonville?
  4. What does Joe do to assert his power and leadership in the community?
  5. What is Janie’s role in her new marriage and new home, according to Joe?
  6. Why does Joe think the town of Eatonville has to have a store? A post office?
  7. Why does Joe think the town needs a streetlamp?
  8. What does he do to bring attention to the show off the streetlamp?
  9. When Janie expresses her discomforts with being “Mrs. Mayor,” how does Joe react?
  10. How do Joe’s decisions about the way he builds his house make the townspeople feel like they had been taken advantage of?
  11. How do the townspeople react when Joe punishes Henry Pitts by forcing him to leave town after stealing Joe’s sugar cane?
Chapter 6

  1. Why do Lige Moss, Sam Watson, and Walter love to tease Matt Bonner?
  2. What happens when Janie participates in the stories about the mule that are told on the store’s porch?
  3. What is Janie’s reaction to being forced by Joe to work in the store and tie her hair up?
  4. How does Janie’s reaction to the abuse of Matt Bonner’s yellow mule ultimately turn out to her disadvantage?
  5. How does Joe demonstrate his desire to dominate other creatures at the funeral of the yellow mule?
  6. What is the exact topic of Sam and Lige’s “contest of hyperbole” on the store porch?
  7. How does Joe chastise Janie for failing to find the receipt for the pickled pig’s feet?
  8. Why don’t Joe and the men on the porch have any sympathy for Mrs. Tony Robbins when she comes to the store begging for meat for her children?
  9. What types of attitudes towards women do Joe and the men on the porch reveal after Mrs. Robbins departs?
  10. What is Janie’s reaction to hearing how the men talk about Mrs. Robbins?
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

Non-profit Tax ID # 203478467