How would you describe Janie’s state of mind at the beginning of Chapter 7 in "Their Eyes Were Watching God"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of Chapter 7, Janie is dissatisfied but resigned to her marriage with Joe.  "All the fight" is gone from her, at least on the surface, and she is going through the motions, having learned how to act to keep peace.  Janie sees Joe for the pathetic character he is, but decides to lie both to him and to herself to keep some semblance of meaning in their lives.  Even though Janie appears to be defeated, and at one point wonders herself if her spirit "(is) gone from her soul", the author gives the sense that there is still "plenty of life beneath the surface but it (is) kept beaten down by the wheels". 

Janie escapes into daydreams to mask the pain of her empty existence.  Her fantasies are an escape, and in a way they are good "because (they) reconcile(s) her to things" (Chapter 7).

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Their Eyes Were Watching God

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