An Analysis of the Symbolism in Katherine Anne Porter’s
“The Jilting of Granny Weatherall”
Symbols play a vital role in a story, which is used to deliver the underlying meaning in a particular way. By employing several symbols, Katherine Anne Porter expresses the special “jilting” ingeniously. The name “Weatherall” reveals the character of the heroine. The author concentrates the whole life of Weatherall on the substance “light”, which foreshadows the inescapable death. Running through the whole story, “blue” explains the tone and exposes the theme of the story. The name “Weatherall” indicates Weatherall’s character. It helps readers have an insight into Weatherall by narrating her management of what happened in her life. “Weatherall” infers she will weather all the difficulties she meets with. She is a person with great perseverance. She doesn’t abandon herself after being jilted by George. Furthermore, the situation Weatherall is in decides what she should be. She must be brave enough to bring up her children and defeat all the difficulties by herself. Hence, only if she possesses the strong character people should have on that day can she survive at that time. The “light”, to some extent, means the whole life of Weatherall. In fact, her past life is rather dark. All her past experience is interpreted by means of “dark light”. It arouses a sympathetic chord of the readers by illustrating all the things she encounters. The bright light shows her present life. To direct readers to the theme, the author applies “light” to convey her idea. Life is dark as well as bright. Dark as it is, Weatherall survives by denying all the sufferings. The theme is a vital part plays in a story. “Blue” appears six times in the story, representing six stages of Weatherall’s life. In other words, “blue” supports the whole story. The tone of the story is sad and sorry but reflective. “Blue” itself stands for sadness. Even though struggles and hardships fall on...
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