Garrett's Their Eyes Were Watching God Site


The Bee and the Flower

"She [Janie] was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was a marriage! She had been summoned to behold a revelation. Then Janie felt a pain remorseless sweet that left her limp and languid." (Pg. 11)

              Under the pear tree, Janie sees a bee land on a blossom.  This is when Janie discovers the type of love that she wants, a mutual relationship.  Janie wants to be with a man that gives her what she needs the same way that she gives him what he needs.   This also symbolizes Janie's goal to seek enlightenment, Janie finds clues of a deeper meaning, a higher power, in the relationship between the plant and the bee.  Janie sees life as she imagines it to be, a world full of beauty and fufillment.

              The blossoming pear tree is a symbol for her maturing into adulthood.  Much like the pear tree is growing, so to is Janie.  Janie has had a connection to nature all her life and that connection appears in the novel many times.