No matter how you say it, having power can be tricky business. There are those that use their power and influence for the good of others and those that abuse their position and authority. We've all met people in both of these categories. We've responded to these powerful people in various ways. Regardless of your experience, it is safe to say we can't get away from them - parents, peers, teachers, celebrities, government officials, school administrators, police officers, and bosses to name a few. And to quote a popular country song, "Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug."
For Janie, power and control come in the form of her Nanny and her husbands. To varying degrees and with mixed results, each person exerts physical, emotional and/or psychological pressure on her to conform to their ideas about her behavior and role as a woman. She continues to struggle to discover who she really is beneath all of the outside forces. Tea Cake, I believe, gives her a glimpse of that person, but she hasn't completely emerged yet. And when she does, what sort of power will she have?
- Do Tea Cake and Janie have a strong relationship? What makes it so or what are they lacking?
- Does Tea Cake treat her well?
- What is the difference between Eatonville and the Everglades in terms of lifestyle and such for Janie?
- Mrs. Turner is clearly a racist. Why would Hurston include her and her ideas in this novel?