The Jilting Of Granny Weatherall Essay, Research Paper
Having read “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” by Katherine Anne Porter once before, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the short story. With more understanding of the story now, it is much easier to consider the how Granny’s actions are acceptable rather than rash at times. Granny’s character is one where everyone can relate to because each one of us manages to feel sorry for her through the problems she must face along her long road to death. I also found myself wanting her to get to see George one more time, because she loved him so much.
From the realization that Granny Weatherall doesn’t have much time left, being eighty years old, it is easy to sympathize with her. Granny is an old woman who is constantly nagged by her daughter, Cornelia, about being old and not wanting her to do anything around the house. I can relate to that perfectly. My grandfather was very ill because of the chemotherapy he took when battling lung cancer in the summer of 1999. He ended up dying in August of that year, but he never thought of himself as being sick. On the contrary though, Granny sees this as a setback because she is not sick, even though she is on her deathbed, and feels the doctor should, “Get along and doctor your sick. Leave a well woman alone” (271). Granny also scolds Doctor Harry by saying, “Where were you forty years ago when I pulled through with milk-leg and double pneumonia?” (271). While being aware of her condition before, I feel it is simpler to understand why she didn’t want Cornelia around because she was such a nuisance. Cornelia only made it worse for her, being her daughter, as she, “and Doctor Harry were whispering together” (271).
Also, this time around I came to realize that one of Granny’s other daughters, Hapsy, who had died at an early age, was being summoned to see her mother before she fell to her fate. Hapsy was her favorite. Although I don’t think Granny grasped the concept that Hapsy had passed away a long time ago, she gets the urge to need to see her again when reminiscing of her past. While reminiscing, Granny Weatherall sees a picture of her old fianc?, John, who was supposed to marry her but stood her up at the altar. She sees his picture with, “eyes very black when they should have been blue” (278). This is a perfect example of imagery showing the black eyes that symbolize a deep and high interest level that he must have felt for Granny, but she feels they should be blue because if John really loved her he would not have stood her up. I was not aware of this fact the first time I read “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall,” but now I understand what Porter was trying to accomplish. Techniques such as the one I previously stated make the story much more tactile. Though Granny’s satiric comment in the next paragraph brought me back to the reality of Granny’s world, with her statement, “You look like a saint, Doctor Harry, and I vow that’s as near as you’ll ever come to it” (278).
Granny reflects on her past accomplishments when thinking about how nice it would be to be young again. I also often reflect of my past accomplishments to remind myself of things in life that I cherish. Whether it is academic or athletic, it means something special when you worked so hard to get something you deserve. Granny remembers raising her children, cooking, sewing clothes, and growing gardens. “I had fenced in a hundred acres once, digging the post holes myself and clamping the wires with just a negro boy to help” (274). In that statement Granny thinks that after she and John split up, wonders if he would recognize her because of how much she had changed. Change is part of life, and the life we all live should be reflected upon to remember all of the great things that have happened to us.
I really feel this story captured a lot of emotion for me personally. Seeing (reading) the plot open up as the story went along made me realize my life is somewhat similar in a distant way. I have seen a lot of things happen; from the tragedies as of late, to my best friend’s mother die of cancer. Being a person with such the experiences as myself, I must look beyond the outside, such as in this story, and find the deeper meaning on the inside. The memories of Granny Weatherall are all symbolic of her life flashing before her eyes before death. But she was not able to fill all of her expectations before she died; her conscience was distorted in her old age. Granny was not entirely prepared when Christ came and took her to her eternal resting place, but she died knowing her family loved her.