Janie and Teacake

Length: 3 Pages 762 Words

From Tea Cake, Janie learns to love and what it feels like to be loved. Tea Cake not only made Janie feel special with his words, but proved it as well by taking her fishing, hunting, to the movies, dancing, gardening with her, and other "signs of possession" (105). For a while, Janie and Tea Cake worked the fields together. For the first time in her life, Janie is enjoying life. She says "...we ain't got nothin' tuh do but do our work and come home and love" (127). Eventually Tea Cake dies and Janie goes back to Eatonville. From her marriage with Tea Cake, Janie experienced love. This is something she believes very few people have experienced. Janie's marriage with Tea Cake finishes her development as a woman. This is where Tea Cake comes into the picture. Janie met Tea Cake not long after the death of her second husband. She fell in love, real love, love that she waited her whole life for. Tea Cake was truly different from other men, he was loving and caring, and he did not ask anything in return but to be loved. He showed Janie that it is traditional male attitudes toward women that keep them in their su Continue...


Janie was able to have this kind of relationship with Tea Cake because he was carefree; he was not caught up in the social or political roles than most men strive for - he just wanted to have fun and support Janie. so this was a marriage, is how Janie pictured marriage. From that, of course, came a big conflict. After they had the fight over Logan Killicks, Nanny said something, by way of an explanation of why Janie needs to marry up the social ladder, that revealed a good deal about the reality of being an African-American woman. One day there was a big storm and Janie and Tea Cake had to leave the house because the water was coming in fast. Nanny told Janie "So you don't want to marry off decent like . Nanny's idea of a good marriage was someone who has some standing in the community, someone who would get Janie to that higher ground. This meant a new identity for Janie - but this time she was able to build her own identity and what she gave up for Tea Cake she gave up willingly, because she loved him. As the book shows the strong relationship between mother and child is important in the African-American community, and the conflict between Janie's idyllic view of marriage and Nanny's wish for her to marry for stability and position is a good illustration of just how deep the respect and trust runs. As the person who raised her, Nanny felt that it is both her right and obligation to impose her dreams and her ideas of what is important in life on Janie.