Their Eyes Were Watching God

What did Janie tell Joe just before he died?

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Janie 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.