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Where is the "spiritual reassessment or moral reconciliation" evident in the ending...

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drinianna17 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 14, 2011 at 3:21 AM via web

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Where is the "spiritual reassessment or moral reconciliation" evident in the ending of T.E.W.W.G and how is it significant in the book as a whole?

I'm writing an essay on how the ending of the book, Their Eyes Were Watching God, showed evidence of moral reconciliation and how it was significant in the book itself. Of course, in the end of this book her one true love dies, but she still finds her goal. I need SPECIFIC details and etc.

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copelmat | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted December 15, 2011 at 12:21 PM (Answer #1)

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Although some readers find the ending of Their Eyes Were Watching God to be sad because of Tea Cake's death, the story can also be seen as very uplifting if we focus on the outlook of the main character Janie.

Yes, Tea Cake dies at the end of the novel, at Janie's hand no less. However, the lesson Janie takes away from the experience is her awakening and understanding of true love. As she tells Pheoby on her back porch, "Love is lak de sea. It's uh movin' thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it's different with every shore."

Despite her experiences in life and in love, Janie chooses to see the good in her future; she reassesses her life and consciously chooses to learn from it and be better because of it.

Furthermore, we see that same idea projected onto Pheoby as well. Following Janie's entire story, Pheoby exclaims, "Lawd!... Ah done growed ten feet higher fromjus' listenin' tuh you, Janie. Ah ain't satisfied wid mahself no mo'." Here, we see and sense that Janie's experiences have not only transformed her own life, but the sharing of her story has transformed the life of her best friend as well.

Janie professed to desire true love; however, that desire was merely a mask for her ultimate desire of self-actualization and self-understanding. She gained these virtues because of her experiences with Tea Cake and, although he may now be gone, his memory continues to propel her forward. As the narrator states in the novels last lines, "Of course he wasn't dead. He could never be dead until she herself has finished feeling and thinking."

In the end, Janie makes peace with her loss of Tea Cake and the attitudes and opinions of those townsfolk who judge her, for Janie has found herself, her meaning, and her happiness.



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