She however got tired of him too because he repressed her independence and treated her more like a trophy than a person. Although she submits to him, deep down she resents her life and feels being married to him was just like being a servant. After 20 years of marriage, he dies and she marries Tea Cake, a poor but fun loving and adventurers’ man in whom she finds all the love she had been looking for. They move to the everglades where they work as laborers, this relationship is however brutally ended when during the Hurricane Tea Cake is bitten by a rabid dog (“From their Eyes…” 7). Two weeks later she is forced to kill him to defend herself from his psychotic delusional self. After being acquitted for his murder, she finally goes home and the book begins and ends as she retells her story, an act that finally puts her at peace with herself and her late husband.
The book touches on several themes that are or relevance to the lives of women of color and the black community in general in the backdrop of recently ended slavery. One of the dominant themes is, Love vs. independence, since the quest for both is the content of most of Janie’s life; she leaves home to search for love but evidently fails to find it in her first husband. She leaves him believing she has found true love in Stark and although in the start it looked like the perfect romance she soon realizes his ambition is far greater than his love for her. It is only with Tea Cake that she finally gets both love and independence since he treats her tenderly and respects her individuality unlike the former husband who repressed her.
The theme of gender roles is also explored in the book through the events that shape Janie’s life. He grandmother holds that men are providers and women should be taken care of by them and so married Janie off to an older man. Stark, on the other hand, assumes that being the man in a relationship gives him rights over the woman whom he treasures more