The end?

What do you think happens to Janie after the book? Does she settle back in Eatonville, living among her old friends and neighbors? Or could Janie soon suffer from rabies and die? She had been bitten by Tea Cake during the fight in which she shot him (p. 184); the doctor had previously  expressed concern that towards the end of his illness, Tea Cake was a threat to Janie, that he might bite her.

Robert Haas wrote an article, “Might Zora Neale Hurston’s Janie Woods Be Dying of Rabies? Considerations from Historical Medicine” (Literature and Medicine 19, no. 2 (Fall 2000) 205-228) in which he argues that everything else the doctor said to Janie came true as far as Tea Cake’s illness, and so why wouldn’t his specific warning that Tea Cake might bite her and give her rabies also come true. Could Janie be telling Pheoby her story because she won’t be around for very long to tell it herself? What do you think?


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