As Janie’s grandmother, Nanny looks after her, and is deeply concerned by Janie’s maturation and interest in sex after spying her kiss a neighbor boy. Nanny tells Janie she needs to marry quickly since “Ah can’t be always guidin’ yo’ feet from harm and danger.”

Nanny wants Janie to live a financially secure life after her impending death. This desire is not only motivated by her concern for Janie, but by the worldview she developed from her experience in slavery. Financial security is of paramount importance to Nanny, and Janie’s desire for independence and true love clash with Nanny’s priorities. While Nanny’s intentions are good-hearted, the end result is that Janie ends up in a loveless marriage with Logan Killicks, which leads to another loveless marriage with Jody.