What do you think the narrator means when she says: “Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman”? How does this statement tie in with the claims made in chapter one that “the dream is the truth”?
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The novel begins with a statement about the differences between the dreams of men and women. Men's dreams are like distant ships. For some men, the ship comes in and the dream is realized very quickly. For other men, the ship sails for a long, long time on the horizon. By the time these dreams finally can be realized, so much time has passed that the dreams are worthless. Women don't wait and watch for their "ship to come in." Some women have dreams and some do not. And for women, the mere possession of the dream is what matters: "The dream is the truth."