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Snow 1Laramie SnowProfessor WilsonEnglish 1302-0211 March 2018Literary Analysis“The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” by Katherine Anne Porter is the story of the final day of a bedridden, eighty-year-old woman’s life. The main character, Granny Weatherall, dwells on the day sixty years ago that her fiancé had stood her up, or “jilted” her, on their wedding day. Thestory is written in the third person as a stream-of-consciousness narrative, captivating the reader by allowing them to witness the scene, both as spectators and as participators, and follow Granny’s train of thought along with the decline of her sanity. In “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall,” the themes of death, denial, religion, and betrayal are presented through the main character, who struggles to let go of the pain she has experienced in her life as she faces her last hours on earth.Granny Weatherall is an old, stubborn, self-reliant, austere, and devout Catholic woman. Her name, “weatherall”, implies that she can withstand anything that comes her way. Her husband, John, died young, leaving her to care for their four kids by herself. However, she had enjoyed being a single young mother: “Granny wished the old days were back again with the children young and everything to be done over” (Porter 79). She misses when she was healthy and capable, her kids relied on her, and she had the rest of her life ahead of her. She is a tireless perfectionist; even as she is dying, she thinks about all the things she has left to do and determines to do them “tomorrow”. Now, in her old age, she hates being incessantly fussed over, whispered about, and reminded that she is old. She often comes across as rude and snippy,
Snow 2especially towards her doctor. She calls him “brat” and insists that she is perfectly well and capable of caring for herself. The bitterness she has stored up in her heart is finally welling up, and she is continually bombarded with painful memories.Granny harbors bitterness for many reasons. The overarching reason is that her ex-fiancé,George, stood her up on their wedding day sixty years ago. She equates the thought of George to hell and wishes she could “find him and be sure to tell him I forgot him” and that “I was given back everything he took away and more” (Porter 81). Her daughter Cornelia, though she means well, is too overbearing with her concern. Granny expresses how she hates being fussed over andwhispered about, but “the thing that most annoyed her was that Cornelia thought she was deaf, dumb and blind” (Porter 79). Doctor Harry also receives some scorn from Granny; his youth and condescending nature rub her the wrong way. She rebukes him for disrespecting his elder and insists that there is nothing wrong with her. Her husband, John, and her daughter Hapsy both died long ago, causing her intense grief even until she died. Finally, a major reason for her bitterness is that she is dying and she wishes she had more time. She still has much to take care of before she is ready to go.