Book Notes Chapter 5 Notes from Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Their Eyes Were Watching God Chapter 5

Janie and Jody arrive in the new town, Eatonville. Jody is surprised to find that there is no mayor. He starts telling two men he meets that they have to form a committee to get the town started. The two men tell Janie and Jody where they can sleep.

Jody meets with the owner of the land of Eatonville. He buys 200 more acres of land, and plans on building a store and a post office where Janie will work.. Jody really works hard to get things around the town started: he buys lumber, assigns carpenters, and goes to find more people to move to the town. The store gets stocked with canned goods and Jody calls for a town meeting/celebration that evening. It is important to him that Janie look better than all of the women who attend.

Some of the town members praise Janie and Jody for coming to the town and fixing it up so quickly and nicely. They ask Joe to make a speech. Jody starts by thanking everyone for the comments and he tells them that Eatonville needs a mayor if it is going to be like every other town. Everyone yells and elects Jody as their first official mayor. They ask Janie to make a speech, as the mayor's wife, but Joe cuts in and says that Janie doesn't know how to make a speech, for her place as a woman is in the home, not making speeches:

"'Thank yuh fuh yo' compliments, but mah wife don't know nothin' 'bout no speech- makin'. Ah never married her for nothin' lak dat. She's uh woman and her place is in de home.'" Chapter 5, pg. 40-1

Janie feels cheated that she doesn't even get the chance to try and make a speech.

Topic Tracking: Voice 2

Jody buys a light for the town and they have a lamp-lighting ceremony and a barbecue. Janie and Jody talk that night in bed. Janie is unhappy about their situation because Jody is always running off and talking and trying to make himself a big voice. She feels like she is always waiting around for him; she is unhappy and lonely. This isn't what she expected nor what she wants. This is not the kind of life/marriage she always dreamed about.

Jody tells everyone what to do and he acts like a white man with slaves. Janie describes him as a white man:

"Take for instance that new house of his. It had two stories with porches, with bannisters and such things. The rest of the town looked like servants' quarters surrounding the "big house." And different from everybody else in the town he put off moving in until it had been painted, in and out. And look at the way he painted it - a gloaty, sparkly white." Chapter 5, Pg. 44

A couple of the town members talk about how Joe treats everyone, like they're all less than he is. And they even wonder about the way he treats Janie because they notice that she doesn't talk very much, and that Joe makes her wear her hair all tied up and hidden.

Topic Tracking: Identity 4

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