Their Eyes Were Watching God

by: Zora Neale Hurston

What Does the Ending Mean?

Their Eyes Were Watching God concludes with Janie’s self-actualization and hope for her own future. Janie finishes recounting her story to Pheoby—just as she promised she would do in the beginning—before settling into her bedroom and reflecting on Tea Cake’s death. Instead of wallowing in her grief, Janie pulls “in her horizon like a great fish-net” and “drape[s] it over her shoulder.” Janie establishes harmony with herself and the world around her, ultimately fulfilling the dream she has had since her revelation under the pear tree. Despite the various tragedies she encountered—a loveless marriage with Logan, oppression from Jody, the hurricane, Tea Cake’s death, the courtroom—Janie finds that she has the strength to withstand most anything and feels content with her circumstances, echoing her statement to Pheoby about how one must find meaning: “They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about livin’ fuh theyselves.”