Sunday, February 22, 2009

Language Appreciation & Interpretation

“You changes everything but nothin’ don’t change you” (86)

This quote is from when Janie is finally being honest with Joe when he is sick in bed. I liked this quote because it shows how she noticed his stubbornness underneath what he shows everyone else. He was constantly trying to change things into what he wanted them to be. He worked almost all of his life to make Eatonville into a great town that he could be in charge of. He also wanted Janie to be the wife that he wanted. He tried to make her submissive to him and happy with what he gave her. Despite trying to change so much, Joe would never change himself. He had his mind set on what he wanted and what he thought was right and wouldn’t try to change or accept other people challenging him. Janie was finally letting all of her frustration out to Joe that she hadn't voiced before then. Even at the very end of his life, Joe still wouldn't listen and refused to change.

I also liked this quote because it can describe many people. Many people will try and change things just like Joe, but won't listen to what other people say to them or accept that they may not be right. This can also apply to more than just people changing or changing things. This quote can describeany time that someone is constantly doing something to other things or others but refuse to accept it when it comes their way. It seems like a nicer way of calling someone a hypocrite.


  1. Effective coverage of a significant moment in the novel. This is a great turning point for Janie, after being silenced by Joe for so long. Take notice of how Janie lets her hair down in this scene. Hurston uses imagery in combination with the dialogue to allude to Janie's free spirit.

  2. I agree with Mahony's comment about Janie's turning point because now she is able to let go of her fake life and pursue her true dream. Janie has spent too many years in a fake marriage with a man she only "thought" she loved. She stayed for so long because she was uncertain whether she would find something better that is more like her dream of finding true love. This is a powerful scene where Janie, for so many years, has subjected to Joe's whims and commands. Everything that bothered her concerning Joe, Janie would bottle up in her "outside feelings". By outside feelings, Janie means the true feelings she has for Joe (her unhappiness with her). Her inside feelings are for an imaginary man that can make her dreams come true and she keeps these feelings filed away and separated.

  3. Brittany, I agree with your interpretation of this quote. I also was struck by this quote. I thought that it was very empowering to hear Janie speak up to Joe that way. She also characterized Joe's stubbornness perfectly. Even if Joe was wrong, and he knew it, he wouldn't admit it. Joe tried throughout his life to change everything he wasn't happy with. He never admitted that he might need changing too.