The Question and Answer section for Their Eyes Were Watching God is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
The author used this metaphor to illustrate Janie's situation..... meaning she was going nowhere.
Tea-Cake is poor and quite a bit younger than Janie. The townspeople feel that he is an inappropriate choice for their former mayor's widow.
This image conveys that Janie's life is blooming.....