Their Eyes Were Watching God: Novel Summary: Chapter 4

This chapter marks a significant transition in Janies life. As the dull 
reality of marriage continues to set in with Logan Killicks, Janie becomes more and more restless. One morning Logan leaves for another city to buy a mule, ordering Janie to stay behind and peel potatoes. As she sits outside cutting, Janie hears whistling from the road. The whistling belongs to Joe (Jody) Starks, a “cityfied, stylish dressed man with his hat set at an angle that didnt belong in these parts..He whistled, mopped his face and walked like he knew where he was going” (26). In the course of the playful conversation they strike up Janie learns Joe has worked for whites all his life, but has saved up some money, and plans “to be a big voice” (27). Janie and Joe begin meeting daily, until one day Joe reveals he wants to marry her; Joe makes a proposition: the next morning he will wait down the road for Janie, and if she wants to marry him she is to meet there. During her last night with Logan Killicks, Janie asks her husband what he would do if she left him. Killicks replies scornfully by saying Janie has become too independent and spoiled, and that other men wouldnt trust her anyway considering her disreputable family. The quarrel extends into the next morning, when Killicks informs Janie, “You aint got no particular place. Its wherever Ah need yuh” (30). Janie, however, stands up to him, forcing Killicks to realize that she has been seeing somebody else. When he threatens to kill her, Janie leaves; heading down the road she finds Joe Starks waiting with a hired rig. The chapter closes with a hopeful Janie marrying Joe before sundown.