Their Eyes Were Watching God: Top Ten Quotes

Janie, on her gossiping neighbors, stressing the importance of storytelling and oral tradition”Ah dont mean to bother wid tellin em nothin, Pheoby. Taint worth de trouble. You can tell em what Ah say if you wants to. Dats just de same as me cause mah tongue is in mah friends mouf” (6).

Janie, to the men of Eatonville”Sometimes God gits familiar wid us womenfolks too and talks His inside business. He told surprised yall is goin tuh be if you ever find out you dont know half as much bout us as you think yo do. Its so easy to make yoself out God Almighty when you aint got nothin tuh strain against but women and chickens” (70-71).

On Janie”She was a rut in the road. Plenty of life beneath the surface but it was kept beaten down by the wheels” (72).

Janie, after Joes death”To my thinkin mourning oughtnt tuh last no longern grief” (89).

Eatonville habitants, on Janie”It was hard to love a woman that always made you feel so wishful” (111).

On Tea Cake”Janie looked down on him and felt a self-crushing love. So her soul crawled out from its hiding place” (122).

On waiting for the mighty hurricane”They sat in company with the others in other shanties, their eyes straining against crude walls and their souls asking if He meant to measure their puny might against His. They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God” (151).

Tea Cake, on Janie”.dont say youse ole. Youse uh lil girl baby all de time. God made it so you spent yo ole age first wid somebody else, and saved up yo young girl days to spend wid me” (172).

Janie, on love”.love aint somethin lak uh grindstone dats de same thing everywhere and do de same thing tuh everything it touch. Love is lak de sea. Its uh movin thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and its different with every shore” (182).

Janie”Its uh known fact, Pheoby, you got tuh go there tuh know there..Two things everybodys got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about livin fuh theyselves” (183).