Chapter 17 Notes from Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Their Eyes Were Watching God Chapter 17

A new season starts on the muck. Mrs. Turner's brother comes to town. Tea Cake is nervous that he will try to win Janie over, so he hits Janie on purpose to show that he is in control of Janie.

"Before the week was over he had whipped Janie. Not because her behavior justified his jealousy, but it relieved that awful fear inside him. Being able to whip her reassured him in possession. No brutal beating at all. He just slapped her around a bit to show he was boss." Chapter 17, pg. 140

Some of the other men and women are jealous over Tea Cake's and Janie's relationship. The men want a woman like Janie, who won't fight back when they hit them. The women want a man like Tea Cake, someone who will caress and care for them. Tea Cake tells his friend that he hit Janie to show the Turners who is boss, not because she did anything wrong.

Tea Cake and his buddies go over to the Turners' restaurant to eat. A fight breaks out, and Tea Cake jumps in to try to settle things. Things get worse, and dishes and tables are broken. Food is thrown everywhere. Mrs. Turner tries to stop it, but Tea Cake pushes her down. Eventually, the fight stops and they all leave to go get drinks at another place. Mrs. Turner is left in a rage with a bleeding hand, staring at her destroyed restaurant. She claims that she is moving to Miami where the people are civilized.

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