Janie’s first husband, the well-off landowner Logan Killicks, is her introduction to marriage and the understanding that marriage itself does not create love. Logan Killicks pursues Janie behind her back when she is only a teenager, appealing straight to Nanny Crawford. To Nanny Crawford, Logan represents the stable, comfortable life that she could only have dreamed of because he is one of the few Black men in the area who owns land. However, the resulting marriage between Logan and Janie lacks passion or love, primarily because Janie hardly seems part of the marriage at all. Not only is Janie left out of her own proposal, but Logan barely speaks to her and doesn’t try to woo her. Instead, he does chores he assumes she’ll appreciate, like chopping wood and carrying in water. Because Janie is young and naive, and unsure of how to ask directly for what she needs from him, she doesn’t view these practical tasks as a substitute for romance. Her lack of recognition for Logan’s work breeds resentment in him, and his resentment soon turns to anger and abuse. His lack of tenderness toward Janie eventually drives her into the arms of Jody Starks.

The absurdity of Logan and Janie’s marriage comes from the complete inequality between them. First, Logan assumes Janie knows how to care for a farm and will be fine with hard labor like plowing despite her young age and inexperience with farm work. He never speaks to her like an adult and even complains that both he and Nanny Crawford have spoiled her. By placing himself on the same level as Nanny Crawford, who raised Janie, Logan treats Janie not as a wife but as a child, a charge instead of a helpmeet. Furthermore, he asserts that Janie should be grateful he is willing to marry her despite her poor family and absent parents. He lords his social status over Janie to make her feel small, glossing over the fact that it was he who initially proposed their marriage, likely because of her youth and beauty. Janie cannot possibly love him when he has placed her in the role of ungrateful child, a position that does not allow for passion, mutual respect, or growth.