Their Eyes Were Watching God

How does Jody react to his illness and impending death?

Ch. 8

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He doesn't handle it very well. He is full of resentment against Janie. Jody becomes very ill and takes to a sick bed permanently; he refuses to allow Janie to visit him. Other people from the town parade into the house, claiming that Joe doesn't have anyone to take care of him because Janie is so inconsiderate.

Finally, Joe Watson tells Janie that Joe is about to die. His kidneys have failed. Janie begins to think about death: she pictures a square-toed man from the West who lives in a house with no roof. She asks Sam if it would be all right to visit Joe, but Joe refuses.Janie walks into Joe's room and sees him looking as though he's waiting for something. She begins with an apology for not being the "perfect" wife. Joe still blames her for being unsympathetic, but Janie explains that she was never allowed to be sympathetic because Joe controlled her too much. Nonetheless, Janie wants to talk to Joe before it is "too late." Joe does not want to accept that he could die soon. Janie tells Joe that "not listening" has been the main problem of Joe's life: he has been so busy listening to himself that he has never listened to her. Joe tells her to get out, but Janie gets in the last word. She tells Joe that she did not leave Logan and "come down the road" with him to lead a life of "bowing down" and obedience. Joe breathes his last painful breath and dies.