Posted: September 18th, 2017

Theres eyes were watching god summer reading questions



Chapters 1 – 4


  1. Write down and explain what you think the first line means.


  1. Complete this line: These sitters had been tongueless, earless,eyeless conveniences all day long. Mules…


  1. What literary device is seen in the line above?


  1. List several reasons that explain why the “porch” is jealous of Janie.


  1. What is the “porch”?


  1. Which woman is Janie’s friend? How do you know? List the actions of this woman that prove your point.


  1. Who is Tea Cake and what has happened to him?


  1. Write down the first line of chapter 2.   What literary device is used?


  1. How did Janie learn she was black?


  1. Why was Janie treated differently/badly by the other girls of her race and age?


  1. How are the “blossoming pear tree” and Janie’s first kiss connected? What does the tree represent/symbolize?


  1. Write down a simile from the above portion of the story.


  1. The author continues the metaphor of the tree. What type of tree is Nanny? How is she described?


  1. Complete:   “Nanny’s words made


  1. Who does Nanny want Janie to marry? Why?


  1. What animal does Nanny compare the women of her race to? Write down a line from the text for your answer.


  1. Briefly, summarize Nanny’s experience as a slave with her newborn daughter.


  1. We have learned that Janie was abandoned by her mother as an infant. How did you feel about her mother when you first learned this?


Did your feelings change after reading of the abuse Leafy (Janie’s mother)suffered?  Answer and explain.


  1. Complete, explain, and identify the literary device in use: “Put me down easy


  1. In chapter three you learn that Janie’s idea of love is very different from Nanny’s idea of love. How are they different? What does Janie look for, and what does Nanny think she should be happy with?


  1. “So Janie waited a bloom time, a green time, and an orange time.   What does this mean? How long did she wait?


  1. Why is Mr. Killick’s buying another mule?




  1. Janie sees a man, seal brown in color, walking down the road and compares him to Mr. Washburn. Explain this comparison.


  1. How is Joe Starks different from Killicks?


  1. Where is Joe headed?   (Give a very DETAILED answer!).


  1. What actions by Killick’s convinced Janie to leave?


Chapters 5 – 8


  1. Describe the town that Joe and Janie settle in.


  1. How much land did Joe buy for the town, and what other plans does he have for the town?


  1. Jody was determined for Janie to be the “bell-cow.”   Explain what he means by this phrase.


  1. A reference to “Isaac and Rebecca at the well” was made at the store meeting the first night. This is an example of _______________________(literary device.)


  1. Look up on a computer “Isaac and Rebecca at the well.” Write it down.


  1. Joe is elected mayor, but then proceeds to “put Janie, a woman, in her place.” What did he refuse to let her do?


  1. Write down the insulting statement he made about women.


  1. Make an INFERENCE – What does this tell you about their marriage?


  1. In a brief paragraph, tell me about the first streetlight and the celebration of it.


  1. Did Janie feel like celebrating?               How does she feel about being Mrs. Mayor?


  1. The mayor annoyed the townspeople with a drainage ditch. Why did this annoy them? Explain and write down a line from the novel for your proof.


  1. Why did people begin to dislike Joe and Janie. Cite several examples from the novel.


  1. Complete the following line: “Ah often wonder how dat lil wife


  1. Why does Joe insist that she wear a head-rag?


  1. Why did Joe rescue the “yaller” mule?


  1. How did Janie feel about this? Write down several lines from the text for your answer.


  1. Jody will not let Janie go to the “draggin-out” (burial) of the mule. Is he putting her “on a pedestal,” or controlling her by limiting her association with others? Choose your answer and explain your choice.


  1. Why do you think the author follows Joe’s eulogy of the mule with the scene of the buzzards/vultures?


  1. INTERNET SEARCH – Look up the Sinclair Gasoline logo. What animal is depicted?


  1. What simile is used to describe Daisy’s hair?


  1. Identify Mrs. Bogle.


  1. Complete this line: “Somebody got to think


  1. List the things that Joe did to Janie that ruined the marriage.


  1. Find a line that describes her new feelings about Joe after he slapped her for burning the dinner. Write it down.


  1. Janie finally “sasses” Joe after the episode with Mrs. Tony. Paraphrase what Janie told Joe and the other men who were ridiculing Mrs. Tony.


  1. Complete this metaphor at the beginning of Chapter 7:   She was a


  1. Complete this line: His prosperous-looking belly


  1. Write down the insult Janie made about Joe’s virility that prompted him to hit her and “drive her out of the store.”


  1. What do you think? Did Joe deserve this insult? Did Janie go too far?


  1. The root doctor has Joe believing that Janie is ___________________ him. Joe is even having another woman cook his meals.


  1. Of what is Joe dying?


  1. The word “death” is capitalized. What literary device is the author using by doing this?


  1. Complete this PARAGRAPH:       Listen, Jody, you ain’t de Jody ah run off down de road wid.


  1. Complete this line:   “All dis bowin’ down




  1. “Janie starched and ironed her face and came set in the funeral behind her veil”   What is the meaning of this line?


  1. Write down the simile that follows the line above.


  1. How does Janie truly feel about Joe’s death? Write down a line from the text for your answer.


  1. Complete this line: “Here Nanny had taken the biggest thing God ever made, the horizon—


  1. How is Tea Cake different from Joe Starks?


  1. What is Tea Cake’s real name?


  1. Tea Cake walked Janie home after their second meeting and sat on the _______________. This is how we know she likes him.


  1. Predict:   What do you think will happen next with Tea Cake and Janie?


  1. Why does Janie resist Tea Cake? List several reasons.


  1. Complete this PARAGRAPH: “He could be a bee to a blossom—a pear tree blossom in the spring. He


  1. Complete: “In the cool of the afternoon the fiend from hell specially sent to lovers arrived at Janie’s ear. __________.


  1. What is the opinion of the town regarding Janie and Tea Cake. Please give specific reasons as your answer.


  1. Janie tells her friend that she and Tea Cake plan to ______________ and sell _____________.


CHAPTERS 13 – 16


  1. Where did Janie and Tea Cake marry?


  1. How much money did Janie take with her, where did she keep it, why?


  1. Tea Cake takes_______________________________________.


  1. Janie is afraid she has repeated Annie Tyler’s mistake. What was this mistake? (Be sure to explain in a detailed paragraph!)


  1. Complete:   “She had waited all her life


  1. Why was Tea Cake away for so long? What did he do? What did he come back with? (Be very specific and detailed in your answer.)


  1. How does Tea Cake plan to win back what he lost?


  1. “Put dat two hundred back wid de rest, Janie. Mah dice. Ah no need no assistance tuh help me feed mah woman. From now on, you goin tuh eat whutever mah money can buy yuh and wear de same. When Ah ain’t got nothin’ you don’t git nothin’.”




Think about this statement by Tea Cake. Is he different, or the same as Joe Stark?   Support your answer with examples from the novel. I expect a good solid paragraph.




  1. Tea Cake thinks Janie needs to learn to ____________________.


  1. Anticipate:   What might this new ability lead to?


  1. Tea Cake wants Janie to pick beans also because he misses being with her. What do you think? Is this the real reason, or is there another possibility? Explain.


  1. How has Janie’s life changed with Tea Cake?   Explain the differences between her life with Nanny, and her life with Joe Starks.


  1. Identify: Nunkie


  1. What do you think . . . was Tea Cake fooling around with Nunkie? (Be sure to back up your position with proof/quotations from the text.)


  1. The issue of race – differences between dark-skinned and light-skinned blacks – is realistically and dramatically shown in Mrs. Turner. What do you believe to be Hurston’s opinion on this matter? Do you see Mrs. Turner and her attitude as positive or negative?


  1. Identify: Booker T. Washington


  1. The author expected you to know/recognize Washington. The literary device represented is ________________________.


  1. Explain: “All gods who receive homage are cruel. All gods dispense suffering without reason. Otherwise they would not be worshipped.”


CHAPTERS 17 – 20


  1. This chapter begins with Tea Cake once again acting like Joe Starks. What did he do?


  1. How did Tea Cake and his friends “encourage” Mrs. Turner to move to Miami? (Be very specific)


  1. What is the sign of an approaching hurricane according to the Native Americans Janie talked to?


  1. List the odd behavior of the animals in the area.


  1. Identify: Gabriel


  1. What literary device is associated with Gabriel?


  1. “Night was striding across nothingness with the whole round world in his hands.”   What literary device is seen in this line?


  1. “The wind came back with triple fury, and put out the light for the last time. 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.”




The title of the book comes from the paragraph above. Please explain what Hurston means in these lines.


  1. “The sea was walking the earth with a heavy heel.” What literary device is the author employing in this quotation?


  1. “He (the massive dog) wanted to plunge in after her but dreaded the water,somehow.” Stop and think . . . . .why might the dog be afraid of water, other than the fact that it is in the midst of a hurricane?


  1. How was Tea Cake heroic?


  1. “Havoc was there with her mouth wide open.” What literary device is Hurston employing here?


  1. Him-with-the-square-toes” is a personification for ________________________.


  1. Describe the destruction of the hurricane – both human and property.


  1. Tea Cake was forced by shotgun to help _________________________________.


  1. Sadly, prejudice, racism, and segregation is apparent in the burial of the dead. Explain.


  1. What is “Jim Crow Law?”


  1. Tea Cake is ill and refuses to _________________; more importantly, he chokes on and spits out the ____________________ she offers him.


  1. Think . . . . what is wrong with Tea Cake?


  1. The doctor tells Janie that Tea Cake is destined to ________; but worse, he will _____________.


  1. Anticipate: Janie loves Tea Cake. How can she prevent his suffering?


  1. Before the madness attacks him, how is Tea Cakes treatment of Janie different from Joe Starks’ treatment?


How does Tea Cake change?


  1. How did Tea Cake die?


  1. Before he died, what did he do to Janie?


  1. Oddly, who was against Janie at the trial?


  1. Where did Janie bury Tea Cake? Why?


  1. Why does Janie leave Belle Glade? What does she take with her “for remembrance” ?


  1. Explain what Janie means on page 191 when she tells Pheoby, “Ah done been tuh de horizon and back and now Ah kin set heah in mah house and live by comparisons.”


  1. Janie says there are “two things everybody’s got tuh do fuh theyselves.” What are they? What do you think Janie discovers about them?


  1. Describe the mood of the end of the book. What has Janie lost? What has she found?


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