Is Jeannie Fatalistic?
Jeannie, at the end of her life, reflects on the oilmen with whom she shared her career. Meyers writes this about her fellow land-owners:
Though of course it was these same men who had nearly refused to do business with her in the years that followed. It was better not to think about. It was all forgiven, they had gone back to the earth, they had lived only to die.
I have recently read A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy. I've been trying to be a good stoic, but that's another story. Stoics emphasised the importance of fatalism, of accepting what is done and not letting it disrupt one's tranquility. Jeannie is being fatalistic here, but she is being fatalistic about people on the periphery of her life. She is less fatalistic about her daughter Susan, who we are told causes her constant anguish and worry ("she was a saboteur"), and she is less so about Hank:
Of course she could not help but be drawn to people like Hank, people with their own fire, but no matter how much they thought they loved you or their family or their country, no matter how they pledged their allegiance, that fire always burned for them alone.
This is the last sentence in the chapter: long, powerful, and conclusive. But it does not imply resignation: the whole chapter is full of Jeannie's frustration with the inequalities between men and women, and this description of Hank, the love of her life, is a direct extension of that.
Her second husband Ted is different. He is older, he is weary, and wants a family and a place to settle. Jeannie returns one evening to find him with her two boys, sitting around watching television, "none of them with anything to say, but happy as a pile of dogs in winter." There is no fatalism here, this is straight-up domestic bliss.
There is some fatalism in Jeannie, but it is death-bed fatalism, that of one who doesn't need to care any more. In her long life she was too driven to be fatalistic. She raged too much.