Suggested Essay Topics

Chapter 1
1. How does Pheoby’s moral code differ from the moral code of the town? Which code is truly “moral?"

2. Do you agree with the first two paragraphs of this chapter? Explain why you agree or disagree with the narrator.

Chapter 2
1. Write a paragraph from Nanny’s point of view, explaining and justifying her arrangement between Janie and Logan Killicks.

2. The pear tree is one element of nature in this chapter. What other symbols of nature can you find?

Chapter 3
1. Describe how Janie comes to the conclusion that “marriage did not make love.”

2. Do you think that Nanny was satisfied with Janie’s marriage at the time of her death? Use examples from the book to support your position.

Chapter 4
1. Write about an important decision that you made in your life and describe how you felt when you made that decision.

2. Could Logan have kept Janie from leaving him if he had truly told her how he felt? Use examples from the chapter to support your decision.

Chapter 5
1. Is Joe Starks an admirable man? Why or why not?

2. “He’s de wind and we’se de grass. We bend which ever way he blows but at dat us needs him. De town wouldn’t be nothin’ if it wasn’t for him.” Sam Watson says that this is the relationship between Joe Starks and the town. Do you agree with Sam Watson? Why or why not?

Chapter 6
1. Could all of the fighting between Joe and Janie have been avoided? Do you think that Janie could ever be happy with Joe as her husband?

2. How would you interpret the scene of the buzzards?

Chapter 7
1. Describe the argument between Joe and Janie as if you were a customer in the store who witnessed the entire scene. Try to use the point of view of a person from Eatonville, not your own.

2. Why didn’t Janie walk away? (This is not as easy a question as it seems. Try to understand Janie’s position.)

Chapter 8
1. Is it too late to feel sorry for Joe? Why or why not?

2. Read Joe and Janie’s final conversation once again. Examine Joe’s words and comment on his mentality. Why is he so unforgiving to her?

Chapter 9
1. What do...

(The entire section is 957 words.)