Their Eyes Were Watching God

13. (CH.15#2)What do you think about Janie’s reaction to Nunkie and Tea Cake? Is she justified in her actions towards Tea Cake? Why or why not?


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Yes, Janie was justified. Jealousy has been around since the beginning of time, but Janie had good reason to react the way she did. Spouses don't go running off with other people without garnering suspicion, and Janie has learned that Tea Cake is far from trustworthy.

A little, chunky girl named Nunkie begins to flirt with Tea Cake, tapping on his shoulder and then running into the fields hoping that he will chase her. Sometimes he does. Janie is worried that Nunkie is weakening Tea Cake's loyalty to her.

One day, Janie leaves Tea Cake's side to chat with another woman. When she looks back, Tea Cake and Nunkie have disappeared. Janie runs into a row of sugar cane and finds them on the floor struggling. Janie tries to grab Nunkie but she runs off. She asks Tea Cake what he is doing, and Tea Cake says that Nunkie took his working tickets and he had to fight with her to get them back. Janie goes home.

Tea Cake follows her home, and Janie slaps him. They fight for a while, shouting and struggling, but they make up and have sex. When they wake up, Janie asks if Tea Cake loves Nunkie. Tea Cake says he never loved Nunkie. He tells Janie that no one can compare to her. He describes his wife as "something tuh make uh man forgit tuh git old and forgit tuh die."