We see that Tea Cake is fundamentally different from Janie's former lovers when he teaches her how to play checkers: He [Tea Cake] set it up and began to. Aug 11, 'Tea Cake' meets Janie chose to be together. This is the first relationship Janie actually chose to be in without being in extremely undesireble. Janie's marriage to Tea Cake makes her feel like she has been given a second He is the one that puts Janie down about her age to make himself feel better.
He calls a meeting and elects himself mayor of the town. At first things are alright between Joe and Janie. She helps him build a store and run it. Soon Joe demands that Janie work in the store all the time. He forces her to wear a head kerchief to hide her beautiful hair from the eyes of the customers.
This really emphasizes his jealous and power-hungry attitude toward his wife. Joe Starks wanted control. He wanted to be in charge. Joe relishes in the admiration of others.
When he sees that Janie disapproves of the way the townspeople mistreat a stubborn old mule, he makes them stop and then buys the poor mule from its owner in order to set it free. Toward the end of his life Joe becomes even more jealous and violent toward Janie. He slaps her once in the store, and a bitter argument causes him to quit sleeping in the same room with her.
This is where we see a significant attitude change in their relationship.
At the beginning of their marriage Janie called him by her pet name for him, Jody. As we move toward his last days, however, Janie begins to call him Joe.
This shows the loss of intimacy in their relationship. By her using his real name, we get the idea that the love they once shared is completely gone. Joe dies a bitter, hateful old man. He discovers that she is a widow and is immediately attracted to her. Janie is attracted to his happiness. Tea Cake is fifteen years younger than Janie, and is poor with not much to offer Janie.
Many people including Janie at first worry that he is just after her money. However we soon find out that this is not the case. Tea Cake wants to take care of Janie. He even went so far as to take dollars of her money and gamble with it, but he wins it back and repays her telling her that she will never need any of her money again.
Their eyes were watching god - Relationship Compare and Contrast by Dustin Riecke on Prezi
Tea Cake is now the one concerned about Janie. The sincere and sweet gesture of stroking her hair calms her down and reassures her that he is not going anywhere.
Making Janie happy shows that he loves her because he is not happy unless she is. Joe does not care if Janie is happy or not. He is the one that puts Janie down about her age to make himself feel better about himself.
Joe thinks that Janie should be happy because he provides for her and because he puts her on a high chair for the community to see, but these are not the things that Janie needs to be happy. With Tea Cake his company, affection, and love is all she needs. Janie is comfortable enough in her marriage with Tea Cake that she is able to speak what she feels.
She does not hold anything back and does not bite her tongue when she has something to say to Tea Cake. She feels free to express her thoughts and concerns. Janie is expressing violent thoughts which show another side of Janie since she is never abusive in her previous marriages.
Janie has no problem speaking up to Tea Cake because she is in a relationship where she wants her feelings to be known and addressed. With Joe, Janie silenced her voice so as not to upset him and for fear that she would be struck. Janie and Tea Cake communicate to each other which make their marriage stand out from her other marriages. When Janie talks, Tea Cake listens.