Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Power or Personality?

Power. Control. Authority. Command.  Control.  Influence.  Oppress. 

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?


  1. Mrs. Phillips,
    This is by far the best comment you will ever read. The book we are reading is by far a chick flick and should only be consumed by the female population. However, I do enjoy your enthusiasm while reading to the class, so I thought I
    would make one last condition =P.

    -Sam Montgomery

    This blog is a brilliant idea!

  2. Mrs. Phillips,
    I've learned that Tea Cake has been treating Janie well and that Mrs. Turner is trying to break them apart because she doesn't like blacks but she sorts of presents herself as a antagonist to me and thats why Hurston includes her in the story.

    -Alonte Davis

  3. I don't know what you want me to say in my comment,so dont mind my rambleing. This book is interesting in its own way. It can be hard to read at times, but if you understand what the plot is, with all the little details, it's quite humorous.

  4. I think that this book is a pretty good book to read in class. It is very easy to follow along and it's interesting. Overall, I like it and I can't wait to see what happens in the end.

  5. Janie and Tea Cake definitely have a strong relationship. They spend time together and that is something that Janie hadn't had in her past marriages. Tea Cake doesn't tell her what to do, but instead asks her because he wants her there with him.
    It is a shame that there aren't more relationships like that nowadays. Everywhere you look, you see abusive relationships like Janie had most of her life. The only way a relationship can last is if the relationship is like the one Janie has with Tea Cake right now, strong and true.

  6. I think Janie and Tea Cake have a strong relationship. They do everything together especially work together, they both pick beans and i think that means that they love one another enough to be together all day.Janie has freedom with Tea Cake where as with Joe she had none and Tea Cake shows Janie how much he loves her by coming back after he took her money.

  7. Tea Cake and Janie have a very strong relationship, stronger than shes ever had before. They spend plenty of time doing everything together, even now, working together. They obviously love each other, which is why I think they will never be broken apart.

  8. When a person thinks of a leader, many ideas come to mind. There are leaders who lead with force, and there are leaders who lead in a quieter way. A question that is sometimes asked is, “What makes a great leader?" I believe a great leader is hard to define, because it all depends on personal preference. There are people who prefer forceful leaders, and there are people, who prefer quieter leaders, who take time to listen to the needs of others. I believe that anyone can choose to be a leader, but not everyone leads the same way.

  9. Janie and Tea Cake have a great relationship, I believe. He takes care of her, earns money to support her, and honestly seems to love her. He is by far the best man Janie has been with.

  10. I think Janie and tea Cake are in a good relationship, mostly because Tea Cake lets her make her own choices. He also respects her and has fun with her. I also like how Janie chose to ignore the people in Eatonville when they would critize her and Tea Cake's relationship.

  11. The lifestyle in Eatonville for Janie was very uptight. It seemed as though she could never have fun or be her real self. She was always stuck working in the store throughout her relationship with Joe, so she was never really able to enjoy other activities. The Everglades, on the other hand, is a new beginning for Janie. Here she can express herself and enjoy her new relationship with Tea Cake. It is a place where Janie can be free and start a new chapter of her life.

  12. I think that Janie and Tea Cake have a powerful relationship. Tea Cake treats Janie a whole lot better than any other man in the book. I believe that Janie and Tea Cake will never be broken apart because they have what every relationship needs, love.