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of this chapter causes the reader to pause and consider what NealeHurston is trying to get across, “Joe’s funeral was the finest thing Orange County had ever seen with Negro eyes.” (Neale-Hurston, 88) Whether this means that it was rich and extravagant or it was relieving is what you have to wonder for the whole chapter. The song that is played, “Safe in the Arms of Jesus” could refer to the people of Eatonville or could refer to the death of Joe. While Joe had done a lot for Orange County he had also been a strict ruler and the line that the first paragraph ends with shows his thirst for this power, “The little emperor of the cross-roads was leaving Orange county as he had comewith the out-stretched hand of power.” (88) The first paragraph leaves the readers asking themselves, “What is Hurston’s meaning in this chapter”? The next line gives a surprise answer. On the outside there is death, but inside of Janie is a resurrection of life and the greatness that comes with life. She has a new life set ahead of her. She is no longer weighed down by the burden of her husband. A symbol of this occurs on the next page, “Before she slept that night she burnt up every one of her head rags and went about the house next morning with her hair in one thick braid swinging well below her waist.” (89) This is the first bit of freedom that Janie has had for a while and for once Janie has a life ahead of her where she doesn’t feel the need to be married, yet another time in the book where Janie has become a “real woman”. Janie had quite an onslaught of men who were interested in her. They claimed that they wanted to help her out because she was widowed, but she knew that the men were out to get her for her looks and money. Janie of course did not accept any of these men because she had experienced enough with Logan and Joey, she was not up for any more problematic situations that once had “love” and in the end turned out to be a quick way to win someone over. Janie had to continue on running the businesses as they were running before, but she had a harder time. Luckily she had a worker by the name of Hezekiah who reminded her very much of her deceased husband. He treated the customers just the same and he
made the money just fine. She kept him and prayed he would never turn out like his father. Then she tells Phoeby that she’s not worried about Joe’s death because the greatest thing that has ever been seen in Orange County about. Janie Starks has her freedom.