"Aw Johnny Ah ain't evuh been kissed like dat befo'!"
"'Tis my pleasure Janie, you'se is truly beautiful."
"Ah reckon Ah have tuh keep up wid spoilin' yuh, but dat won't stop me from buyin' a mule fuh yuh to work."
"How come Ah'm gonna work wit uh mule? Ah ain't gon stand yuh bossin' me 'round no more."
"You sho loves to tell me whut to do, but Ah can't tell you nothin' Ah see!"
"Dat's 'cause you need tellin'. Somebody got to think for women and chillun and chickens and cows. I god, they sho don't think none theirselves."
"How about playin' you some checkers? You looks hard tuh beat. Fetch uh board!"
As she transitions into adulthood, Janie realizes that her main desire in life is to be happily married and in love. Consequently, she has her first kiss with a boy named Johnny Taylor moments after experiencing her sexual awakening under a pear tree.
"Ah is, 'cause Ah can't play uh lick. Nobody ain't ever showed me how, but Ah'll fetch it."
After her kiss with Johnny Taylor, Nanny, Janie's grandmother, arranges for her to marry an old, wealthy farmer named Logan Killicks. Sadly, Janie is unhappy in the marriage, leading her to understand that getting married does not mean one will grow to love someone.
"Naw Tea Cake be careful! The dawg'll bit yuh cheek if he gets da chance."
"Janie, lemme handle the dawg, Ah'll keep yuh safe."
"Phoeby, Ah done been tuh de horizon and back and now Ah kin set heah in ma house and live by comparisons."
Janie eventually leaves Logan and runs off with a man named Joe Starks. They get married and move to Eatonville. She believed she might be able to find true love with him, but he treated her as his inferior and restrained her from experiencing life to the fullest.
"Lawd! Ah done growed ten feet higher from jus' listenin' tuh you, Janie."
After Joe's death, Janie is finally free, but feels very lonely. However, she then meets Tea Cake, a young, charming man who fits Janie's romantic standards perfectly, since he is the exact embodiment of what Janie was looking for in a partner.
After getting married and moving to the Everglades, Janie and Tea Cake live an overall happy life together. Unfortunately, the muck was soon threatened by a deadly hurricane that they decided not to flee from, resulting in Tea Cake being bitten by a rabid dog.
After Tea Cake was diagnosed with rabies and Janie was forced to shoot him due to his newly violent behavior, Janie returns to Eatonville and recounts the story of her life to her best friend Phoeby, insisting that she had "gone to the horizon and back".