Saturday, January 8, 2011

Heather's Perspective on Their Eyes Were Watching God

Savanna? Savannnnnnaaaaaa??? Oh no, guys, I think we've lost her. For good. Now it's just me and you faithful imaginary followers. I love you guys so much! 
On to the business at hand.
In this book, the main character, Janie, gets married three times. That's right... tres. Technically, the last two don't count, because she never divorced her first hubby. I find all of her marriages to be ironic in an incredibly amusing way. She is forced to marry her first husband because her grandma caught her KISSING some "negro trash" over the fence... THE HORROR!!! Well, that slut deserved it! Kissing random guys under such romantic circumstances! So her grandmother shipped her off to Logan's abode, a middle-aged black man who forces her to do men's work. Again... THE HORROR!!!
It was around this point in the book that I finally realized... Heyyyy, Janie is black! The author does not do a good job of emphasizing this, which is ironic because the book is supposed to be about black women independence and all that. Which brings me to the reason that her second marriage was ironic. She ran off with Jody, who treated her like a queen... A queen who is not allowed to do anything for herself and must always follow the man's orders. So Janie spends her first marriage acting like a man with her man work, and her second marriage acting like a woman in her rightful place, only doing women's work.
Her third marriage is happier. After Jody dies, Janie does this thing where she takes some time to figure out who she really is and how she loves being single. The guys of the town are like "hey dude, that's not cool... She's hidin' that FIIIIIIIINE ass, selfish brat!"
But thennnn comes along Tea Cake. This marriage is ironic because she was like "yeah, single woman power!" (power to that, man =]), and then a guy named Tea Cake comes along and steals her heart. Also, he is twelve years younger. That's right... doce. Personally, the age would be enough of a turn-off for me to shove him out my door the moment he started flirting with me. If that isn't enough, his name is TEA CAKE (did I mention that?). Oh, and he's penniless. You know, some things are just better rich: men, chocolate, cake, coffee, and men. And chocolate. So he's twelve years younger, his name and his financial status are not full of chocolate or wealth (because tea cakes are not chocolate, sadly), and he is TWELVE YEARS YOUNGER. Think about it... When she was hitting puberty, he was probably just coming out of the womb.
Despite all this, they fall in love and move to... OKEECHOBEE!!!!! The tiny little town with no prospects that now sits on top of Lake Okeechobee once HAD prospects, dude! They lived in a shack and planted some beans and got stinkin' rich and made a bunch of friends, and life was great until they saw some Indians.
Now, Indians are (were?) smart when it comes to things like the weather. In my opinion, we need to get rid of weathermen and just stick a Native American in front of the green screen when it's time for the 10-day forecast. And maybe also a translator, because what if they don't speak English, or their accent is too thick for the only people who watch the weather (people of the old variety) to understand? I bet that's the only reason they don't hire Native Americans to do the weather forecast... They'd have to pay two people to do the job instead of one. Also, the translator would get in the way of the beautiful map of Florida with the colorful masses of randomness flowing over it.
ANYWAYYYYY, the Indians were migrating away from Okechobee (they spelled it with only three "e"s in the book... weird) and warned Tea Cake about a hurricane coming. 
Well, this nice domino effect happens:
The Indians tell them about a "big storm," but they don't migrate with their neighbors like a sensible person would do. Instead, they wait until the "big storm" hits to try and get away. So they're outside in the middle of a hurricane, and suddenly the lake comes towards them. Meaning the LAKE is attacking them ( They try to get to high ground, but Janie can't swim very well so she starts drowning a little. Tea Cake, who is on dry land and who is not drowning but is very tired, shouts at her to grab on to this random cow floating nearby. She grabs the cow, and there is a dog already on the cow. The dog gets super pissed and attacks her, but Tea Cake saves her and kills the dog and drags Janie ashore.
...The dog had bitten his face, and he refused to get a doctor because that's what men do, and apparently the dog had rabies, so a month later Tea Cake attempted to kill Janie. So, doing what all good wives would do, Janie shot her husband and put him out of his misery, then was put on trial for his murder. The jury decided she was innocent.
In short: hurricane comes, they start to drown, mad dog bites Tea Cake, Tea Cake gets rabies, Tea Cake attempts to kill Janie through his madness, and Janie shoots Tea Cake. 
I really admire this domino effect. I probably would have decided it was time for him to die, then been like "then the hurricane knocked off the roof and Tea Cake was swept away, never to be seen again" or "then the hurricane knocked a ridiculously large piece of metal into Tea Cake and his bones all crushed together and he died." The series of events the author created was really clever.
I loved the plot of this book, but the dialect drove me crazy. There were a lot of creditable philosophies... For example: "there are years that ask questions and years that answer." I happened to be reading this on January 1st, so that really got me thinking about 2010 and what it did for me... I was happy to find that it was a year of answers for me. I love it when books make me think about things in my life and give me epiphanies.
This is kind of a random spot to stop, but I can't think about anything else to discuss. Soooo adios =]