Janie and Tea Cake’s love developed despite her reservations and the fact that others disapproved.
As the book ends, Janie is fantasizing about Tea Cake.
Tea Cake, with the sun for a shawl. Of course he wasn’t dead. He could never be dead until she herself had finished feeling and thinking. The kiss of his memory made pictures of love and light against the wall. Here was peace. (ch 20, p. 193)
This sentence demonstrates her love for him, and her reaction to the pain of losing him. She deals with the guilt and loss by remembering the good times, and imagining him watching over her and still with her. Yet at the same time, she is not dependent on him. She is dependent on no one. She is a confident woman, and she has known true love.