Jilting Of Granny Weatherall Essay Research Paper

Jilting Of Granny Weatherall Essay, Research Paper

The Jilting of Granny Weatherall

In Katherine Ann Porter’s “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall,” there are two

prevalant themes. The first is self-pity. The second theme is the acceptance of her

immenent demise. Both deal with the way people perceive their deaths and mortality in

general. Granny Weatherall’s behavior is Porter’s tool for making these themes visible to

the reader.

The theme of self-pity is obvious and throughly explored early on. As a young

lady, Granny Weatherall left at the alter on her wedding day . As a result, the pathetic

woman feels sorry for herself for the rest of her life. She becomes a bitter old woman who

is suspicious of everyone around her. This point is shown early in the story when the

doctor is speaking to Cornelia in the hallway outside of Granny’s room. Granny exclaims

“First off, go away and don’t whisper!” (p.1487) Granny was apparently under the

impression that the two of them were speaking ill of her behind her back. Thoughts like

these resulted from the trauma she suffered when the man she loved failed to show up on

their wedding day. Granny Weatherall’s self-pity gives the reader a negative initial

impression of a woman the author eventually expects us to miss. The ailing octogenarian is

so incredibly annoying at the beginning of the story that one almost welcomes the idea of

her passing.

The second theme is the acceptance of immenint death. At first, Granny

Weatherall could not accept the fact that her days were numbered. She shows this when

the doctor is summoned and she says “I won’t see that boy again. He just left five minutes

ago.” (p.1490) Later on, she continues her denial when Cornelia calls on a priest to offer

Granny her last rights. When the priest arrives, she would not speak to him. She said, “I

went to Holy Communion only last week. Tell him I’m not so sinful as all that.” (1491)

As Granny’s life was winding down with only minutes remaining, she finally began to

show signs that she accepted what was happening to her. She bagan remembering those

who were important to her and dividing her possesions among family members. Porter

shows a loving side to Granny Weatherall that endears her to the audience before she is

wisked away from the land of the living. It is reminiscint of The Flannery O’Connor story

“A Good Man is Hard to Find.” The Misfit has just executed a fast-talking grandmother.

One of his evil cohorts offers that she was “a real talker.” The Misfit interjects that “She

would have been a good woman if it had been somebody to shoot her every minute of her

life.” So it is with Granny Weatherall, at her best while near the bitter end.

The Jilting of Granny Weatherall gives us a brief overview of mortality. Porter

gives us slightly deeper insight into self pity and the acceptance of death. Granny

Weatherall’s actions and thoughts give the reader an idea of how it feels as life draws to a

close. Porter suggests that by succeeding in dying well, one can leave behind an image of

themsleves that is more flattering than the legacy of their squandered lives.

Biblio- Heath Anthology of American Lit., Third Edition, Vol II , Paul Lauter Ed.,


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