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The character of Granny Weatherall, the central character in Katherine Anne Porter's 'The Jilting of Granny Weatherall'.

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Introduction

Granny Weatherall, the central character in Katherine Anne Porter's The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, is an 80-year-old elderly woman who is staring death in the face. There is a sense of disappointment with Granny that leads readers to develop their own interpretation of her relationship with her daughter, Cornelia. As the narrator, Granny unintentionally paints the picture of Cornelia as a nuisance and bothersome person. Granny thinks to herself, "The thing that most annoyed her was that Cornelia thought she was deaf, dumb, and blind. Little hasty glances and tiny gestures tossed around her and over her head..." (2). In fact, the reader can rationalize that it is just Cornelia's concern for her ailing mother that creates the situation of her seemingly being there all the time. Granny is having mental flashbacks as death approaches like "a fog rose over the valley" (3). Granny recalls events throughout her life, from being left at the altar on her wedding day, to losing a child, to coming to grips with her own death as the story reaches a close. All of these recollections and the realization of her own death bring together the great ironies of the story, ironies which cause not one, but two jiltings for Granny. ...read more.

Middle

Granny reflects, "For sixty years she had prayed against remembering him..." (4). He had always been there serving as a constant reminder of the past, of things envisioned and dreamed of wasted in a single instant, relegating her to think only what if. The second irony of the story is the cause of Granny's greatest jilting, the realization that she had been stood up twice. This feeling is caused by her perception that in death Christ had not come to meet her to take her to heaven. She asks God to give her a sign, a sign that death was now and that He would be there. Now, "For the second time there was no sign" (7). The irony behind that is that she wanted God to have given her a sign when George had stood her up. That thought gives the reader a sense that she feels if only she had known prior; she could have done something, anything to change the outcome or at least lessen the pain. She wanted God to give her a sign that Jesus would be there in this moment of death with her. ...read more.

Conclusion

As Granny Weatherall stands at the doorstep of death, her mental connection to the real world fades into a sense of disillusionment. Granny experienced two jiltings in her life; jiltings that as death looms bring her thoughts to a dramatic and horrible end. As Granny thinks about these events on the day of her death, the reader learns more about her in those few hours than perhaps even her children ever knew. The reader sees the pain of loosing a child and a mate, the challenge of motherhood, and overcoming the obstacles to help your children grow. Granny Weatherall is a depiction of strength and fortitude and as her life draws to a close, the reader does not get a total sense of a bitter old woman, but more of a woman who accomplished much without the one thing she truly wanted, a marriage to George. These two ironies represent the type of reading that makes this story intriguing and great to read. As Granny Weatherall, "stretches within herself with a deep breath and blew out the light" (7), she dies with an unforgiving heart for the jiltings that consumed her mind in life and death, including the greatest of them all, being left alone by Christ to die. ...read more.

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