A new development in Janie and Tea Cake's relationship opens Chapter Seventeen. After Mrs. Turner brings her brother over to meet Janie, Tea Cake beats Janie in order to assert his control over her. Tea Cake echoes Joe Starks before him when he brags to his co-workers, "Janie is wherever Ah wants tuh be.Ah didn't whup Janie 'cause she done nothin'. Ah beat her tuh show dem Turners who is boss" (141). In contrast to when Joe Starks hit her, however, Janie continues to love Tea Cake in spite of this incident. Tea Cake also gets revenge for Mrs. Turner saying he wasn't good enough for Janie when he and several drunk friends intentionally tear apart Mrs. Turner's restaurant during a playful brawl.
Their Eyes Were Watching God: Novel Summary: Chapter 17