Write a reflection on Tea Cake’s treatment of Janie. CHAPTER 17.
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The chapter begins with understatement. Hurston explains in a brief, emotionless fashion the brutality with which Tea Cake beats Janie. He beats her in order to show another man his power. Hurston's understatement of this poor logic is designed to make the reader angry and upset at Janie's predicament as a woman in black society.
Although she has been liberated through Tea Cake by her introduction into real black society, Janie is still oppressed as a woman in black society. Although she is not a mule (as she was when she was Logan's wife) or a glittery showpiece (as she was with Joe Starks) she is still oppressed. It is difficult for me to comment on the experience of black women in today's society, I have no point of reference. Still, some women are still sexually and emotionally subservient to men. This may not take on the form of physical abuse but certainly women are taught to conform to male expectations of beauty and demeanour if they ever hope to feel love and acceptance.