TEWWG - Summary Chapter 1 As the sun sets in a southern...

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Summary: Chapter 1 As the sun sets in a southern town, a mysterious woman trudges down the main road. The  local residents, gathered on  Pheoby   Watson ’s porch, know her, and they note her muddy overalls  with satisfaction. Clearly resentful, they talk about how she had previously left the town with  a younger man and gleefully speculate that he left her for a younger woman and took her  money. They envy her physical beauty, particularly her long, straight hair. She doesn’t stop to  talk to them, and they interpret her passing by as aloofness. Her name, it is revealed, is  Janie   Starks , and the fellow with whom she ran off is named  Tea Cake . Pheoby criticizes the other  women on the porch for their malicious gossip and sticks up for Janie. She excuses herself  and visits Janie’s home, bringing Janie a plate of food. Janie laughs when Pheoby repeats the  other women’s speculations to her. Janie explains that she has returned alone because Tea  Cake is gone but not for the reasons that the crowd on the porch assumes. She has returned  from living with Tea Cake in the Everglades, she explains, because she can no longer be  happy there. Pheoby doesn’t understand what she means, so Janie begins to tell her story. Summary: Chapter 2 Janie is raised by her grandmother,  Nanny . She never meets her mother or her father. Janie  and Nanny inhabit a house in the backyard of a white couple,  Mr. and Mrs. Washburn . She plays  with the Washburns’ children and thinks that she herself is white until she sees a photograph  of herself. The children at the black school mock Janie for living in a white couple’s backyard  and tease her about her derelict parents. They often remind her that Mr. Washburn’s dogs  hunted her father down after he got her mother pregnant, though they neglect to mention  that he actually wanted to marry her. Nanny eventually buys some land and a house because  she thinks that having their own place will be better for Janie. When Janie is sixteen, she often sits under a blossoming pear tree, deeply moved by the  images of fertile springtime. One day, caught up in the atmosphere of her budding sexuality,  she kisses a local boy named  Johnny Taylor . Nanny catches Janie with Johnny and decides to  marry Janie off to  Logan Killicks , a wealthy middle-aged farmer. She wants to see Janie in a  secure situation, which Logan Killicks can provide, before she dies. She says that black women  are the mules of the world and that she doesn’t want Janie to be a mule.
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