After reading the last three pages of the novel, does Janie's story end in triumph, despair, or a mixture of both?

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juhlissa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Janie's story ends in triumph. She is totally at peace with herself, her choices, and her life.  She says, "So Ah'm back home agin and Ah'm satisfied tuh be heah. Ah done been tuh de horizon and back and now Ah kin set heah in mah house and live by comparisons. Dis house ain't so absent of things lak it used to be befo' Tea Cake come along. It's full uh thoughts, 'specially dat bedroom." Even though she came back alone, she is satisified with the life she chose to lead. She has lived a full life and been "tuh de horizon and back." She can see how her life is more full because of the life she chose to live with Tea Cake. 

When she finally retires to her room, she describes remembering and mourning Tea Cake.  But she says that Tea Cake is with her even then and that he would never truly be dead until she stopped feeling and thinking about him.  "...his memory made pictures of love and light against the wall. Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see."  What a lyrical, beautiful ending! She has the world and the horizon in her "net" and can now be at peace with her memories and her love for Tea Cake and the life they lived together.

Read the study guide:
Their Eyes Were Watching God

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