Questions and Answers: Part II and Conclusion, pp. 242-312

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1. What are the effects of the hurricane on George?

2. What are the circumstances surrounding Cocoa’s illness, and why are they so difficult for George to believe?

3. How is George’s fate tragic, and what is the potential impact of his fate on the plot?

4. How does Cocoa bring meaning to the loss of George?

5. What brings peace to Miranda at the end of the book, and how is that outcome significant?

1. The hurricane convinces George of his powerlessness against nature, or God, and his insignificance within the scope of creation. It seems to alter his perspective on the world by modifying his love of logic with a newfound respect for mystery.

2. Cocoa has been poisoned by Ruby, who imagines that the young woman has been flirting with Junior Lee. George possesses neither the knowledge nor experience of Willow Springs needed to believe that hoodoo magic could kill Cocoa.

3. George is unable to overcome his dependence on logic; this failure limits his ability to survive the crisis of Cocoa’s illness. His inability to escape desperate circumstances seems to mirror the experience of loss suffered by the Day women from generation to generation.

4. Cocoa lets herself experience the ongoing, painful process of grief. She realizes that George will always symbolize a great love for her that will not be diminished by future experiences of affection and commitment.

5. Miranda finds peace in knowing that love, not suffering, creates continuity in her family. This outcome finally resolves the fear and doubt surrounding the Day family history throughout the novel.

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Questions and Answers: Part II, pp. 166-242