Summary and Analysis Chapter 15



One day, an overweight girl named Nunkie attempts to make a play for Tea Cake, and Janie is instantly jealous. Tea Cake goes through the motions of trying to resist the young girl, and Janie chases her away. When Tea Cake tries to talk to Janie, she hits him. A furious fight ensues, and when the dust is settled, she extracts assertions of his devotion to her.


Janie becomes extremely jealous after she finds Nunkie flirting with Tea Cake in the fields. Although Janie feared that Tea Cake would leave her earlier when he disappeared with her $200, this time her fear is channeled into jealousy. This jealousy causes Janie to provoke a fight with Tea Cake so that he will be forced to remind her of his love for her.

Again, Hurston incorporates the image of the tree into the novel. This time, however, the tree image deals with Janie's fear that she will lose Tea Cake to another woman. As Janie witnesses the two in the fields, she feels anxious and upset. Janie's concern about Nunkie and Tea Cake's relationship grows, and she reveals that "a little seed of fear was growing into a tree." Janie needs reassurance from Tea Cake that he loves only her, and he will never leave her.


snappish cross or irritable, uncivil; sharp-tongued.

Don't keer how big uh lie get told, somebody kin b'lieve it Tea Cake believes that the size of a lie has nothing to do with whether some people will believe it.