Their Eyes Were Watching God

18. Why does mrs Turner want to be friends with Janie? Why does Tea cake want her to stay away from Janie?

(ch. 16)

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Like Janie, Mrs. Turner is of mixed race. Unlike Janie, she loathes the black part of herself. Her skin is "milky," her nose is "slightly pointed," her lips are thin, and her bottom is small. Mrs. Turner does not understand why Janie associates with black people or why she married a man as dark as Tea Cake. Mrs. Turner feels that women like herself and Janie that are partly white should try to "lighten the race" by only associating and marrying people that have a light skin color. Janie laughs at Mrs. Turner's ideas and tells her that Tea Cake is a wonderful man: "He kin take most any lil thing and make summertime out of it when times is dull." It's obvious why Tea Cake wouldn't like her.