Chapter 18 Notes from Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Their Eyes Were Watching God Chapter 18

Janie notices Indians leaving town and heading east. When she asks one of them where they're all heading, he says that a hurricane is coming. A couple of days go by and more Indians move out. The animals start to leave as well. Soon, people on the muck begin to leave. A friend of Tea Cake's and Janie's asks them if they need a ride, but Tea Cake refuses. He doesn't think the hurricane will ever come--it's just a little storm. People are most worried about the lake overflowing. Those that stay on the muck spend their time gambling, singing, dancing, and having fun. They are still making money from picking beans, too.

While a few of them are playing with the dice and having a good time, the wind and the lightening start to pick up. The weather worsens and everyone wonders about God and their fates.

"They huddled closer and stared at the door. They just didn't use another part of their bodies, and they didn't look at anything but the door. The time was past for asking the white folks what to look for through that door. Six eyes were questioning God." Chapter 18, pg. 150

The water starts to rise and come into the house. Tea Cake looks for a car to take them out of there, but there are none. He tells Janie to gather their money and insurance papers because they have to walk. They leave and begin to make their way through the wind and the rain. Everything is going well until big Lake Okechobee bursts through its walls. They find a tall house and go in for a while as a refuge. They fall asleep, but Janie wakes up to the sound of the lake coming. Tea Cake urges Janie and their other friend to leave to seek higher ground, but the friend stays; he's too tired to go on. Tea Cake and Janie leave and they have to swim because the water is too deep. Janie can barely make it and Tea Cake has to help her along. They reach dry ground and Tea Cake rests. Janie gets up to get a piece of roofing to cover Tea Cake with, but she gets swept away into the water. She grabs onto the tail of the cow, but a mean dog on the cow tries to attack her. She slides down the tail, away from the reach of the dog, and Tea Cake rushes into the water with his knife. He kills the dog, but is bitten on his cheekbone. They finally reach land again.

They make it to Palm Beach and the storm ends. With their saved money, they find a place to sleep. Tea Cake feels guilty about bringing Janie with him to the Everglades, but she doesn't care what she has to go through, as long as she's with him:

"'Once upon uh time, Ah never 'spected nothin', Tea Cake, but bein' dead from standin' still and tryin' tuh laugh. But you come 'long and made somethin' outa me. So Ah'm thankful fuh anything we come through together.'" Chapter 18, pg. 158

Topic Tracking: Identity 11

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