Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Pheoby Watson Character Analysis

Pheoby Watson is Janie's closest friend in Eatonville, and repeatedly defends Janie against the mean-spirited gossip of the townspeople. Pheoby is the character who listens to Janie tell her story – the body of the novel – and in this way, is the character in the novel who most actively recognizes Janie's newfound capacity for self-expression.
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Pheoby Watson Character Timeline in Their Eyes Were Watching God

The timeline below shows where the character Pheoby Watson appears in Their Eyes Were Watching God. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Voice, Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Power, Judgment, and Jealousy Theme Icon
...a place she called home. The townspeople, the woman's former neighbors, are sitting together on Pheoby Watson's porch and speculate about why the woman might be returning to town by herself... (full context)
Desire, Love, and Independence Theme Icon
Power, Judgment, and Jealousy Theme Icon
Interrupting the judgmental gossiping of the other townspeople, Pheoby Watson identifies herself as the woman's best friend, and notes with surprise that even she... (full context)
Desire, Love, and Independence Theme Icon
Power, Judgment, and Jealousy Theme Icon
Pheoby brings Janie a small plate of dinner and compliments Janie on still looking so young... (full context)
Chapter 6
Voice, Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Desire, Love, and Independence Theme Icon
Power, Judgment, and Jealousy Theme Icon
Meanwhile, outside on the porch, Pheoby's husband Sam Watson and fellow townspeople argue about the question of nature versus nurture –... (full context)
Chapter 8
Voice, Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Power, Judgment, and Jealousy Theme Icon
...store and refuses to eat the food she prepares for him. In conversation with Janie, Pheoby Watson reveals the fact that people throughout Eatonville believe Janie has been attempting to poison... (full context)
Chapter 9
Gender Roles and Relations Theme Icon
Voice, Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Desire, Love, and Independence Theme Icon
Power, Judgment, and Jealousy Theme Icon
...nevertheless not ready to accept any man's attempt to be with her: she explicitly tells Pheoby that she is happy being independent, and even confesses that she doesn't care if the... (full context)
Chapter 12
Gender Roles and Relations Theme Icon
Voice, Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Desire, Love, and Independence Theme Icon
...appearance together at the town picnic, Janie becomes the object of the town's judgmental gossiping. Pheoby's husband Sam Watson speculates to his wife that Tea Cake must be using Janie for... (full context)
Gender Roles and Relations Theme Icon
Voice, Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Desire, Love, and Independence Theme Icon
Pheoby approaches Janie and warns her of her status as the object of the town's gossip,... (full context)
Gender Roles and Relations Theme Icon
Voice, Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Desire, Love, and Independence Theme Icon
Janie tells Pheoby that Tea Cake is not comparable to Jody Starks, and that she wants to escape... (full context)
Chapter 20
Voice, Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Desire, Love, and Independence Theme Icon
Power, Judgment, and Jealousy Theme Icon
At this point, Janie concludes her story to Pheoby, telling her that she is satisfied to be home, as she has "been tuh the... (full context)