Their Eyes Were Watching God
Reading Questions, Chapters 1-6
- Name two reasons why Janie is judged by the townspeople as she passes by them on her way home.
- Why does Pheoby Watson sympathize with Janie?
- What does Pheoby mean when she says, “An envious heart makes a treacherous ear”?
- What do the townspeople want to know about Janie, according to Pheoby?
- What does Janie say is the only reason she is back home from the Everglades?
- Why doesn’t Janie have to explain herself to the townspeople, in her opinion?
- Why doesn’t Janie see herself as black until she sees a photograph of herself as a child?
- Give two examples of ways in which the Washburns are good to Nanny and Janie.
- What is Nanny’s reaction to seeing Janie kissing Johnny Taylor over the gate?
- Nanny arranges for Logan Killicks to marry Janie because she is afraid of what?
- When Nanny refers to herself as a “cracked plate,” what does she mean?
- What is the assumption that Janie makes about marriage to quell (suppress) her own fears of marrying Logan Killicks?
- How does Mrs. Washburn support Janie’s wedding?
- What does Nanny initially believe about why Janie has come to talk to her?
- Why has Janie actually come to talk to Nanny?
- How do Janie’s values differ from Nanny’s, where marriage is concerned?
- Name at least two reasons why Janie does not like Logan.
- What does “mien” mean as it is used at the beginning of the second to last paragraph of the chapter?
- What clues indicate that Nanny knows Janie’s marriage to Logan is not right?
- How does Janie measure time? What does her way of doing it tell you about her?
- Why is it significant that Janie stands around the gate as she waits for something new to happen to her?
- What is Janie’s dream that has died, allowing her to become a woman?
- 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?
- What does Logan Killicks want Janie to do while he is away buying the mule?
- What does Janie do to attract the attention of the stylish man, Joe Starks, who is walking down the road towards her house?
- What motivates Joe to travel to Florida and begin his life anew there?
- Where do pretty women belong, according to Joe?
- Why does Joe think that Janie should leave Logan?
- Why wouldn’t Janie have any luck with other men, according to Logan?
- In what specific way(s) does Logan insult Janie?
- What language tells you that Janie has experienced a rebirth at the end of the chapter?
- 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?
- How does Janie’s relationship with Joe appear to be positive for her?
- Why is it significant that Joe does not speak in rhymes with Janie?
- What are Janie and Joe’s first reactions to the town of Eatonville?
- What does Joe do to assert his power and leadership in the community?
- What is Janie’s role in her new marriage and new home, according to Joe?
- Why does Joe think the town of Eatonville has to have a store? A post office?
- Why does Joe think the town needs a streetlamp?
- What does he do to bring attention to the show off the streetlamp?
- When Janie expresses her discomforts with being “Mrs. Mayor,” how does Joe react?
- How do Joe’s decisions about the way he builds his house make the townspeople feel like they had been taken advantage of?
- How do the townspeople react when Joe punishes Henry Pitts by forcing him to leave town after stealing Joe’s sugar cane?
- Why do Lige Moss, Sam Watson, and Walter love to tease Matt Bonner?
- What happens when Janie participates in the stories about the mule that are told on the store’s porch?
- What is Janie’s reaction to being forced by Joe to work in the store and tie her hair up?
- How does Janie’s reaction to the abuse of Matt Bonner’s yellow mule ultimately turn out to her disadvantage?
- How does Joe demonstrate his desire to dominate other creatures at the funeral of the yellow mule?
- What is the exact topic of Sam and Lige’s “contest of hyperbole” on the store porch?
- How does Joe chastise Janie for failing to find the receipt for the pickled pig’s feet?
- 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?
- What types of attitudes towards women do Joe and the men on the porch reveal after Mrs. Robbins departs?
- What is Janie’s reaction to hearing how the men talk about Mrs. Robbins?