Betrayal is the central theme portrayed throughout Katherine Anne Porter’s “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall.” Ellen Weatherall (Granny) was betrayed by a former fiancé who left her alone and humiliated at the alter. Granny feels disgraced and does not know what she will do but John saves her from her feeling of shamefulness by marrying her. As the story progresses Granny continues to be betrayed by those she loves, but as her name implies, “weathers” through it all.
George, the former fiancé, is the first person that betrays Granny by jilting her at the alter. This is not only a betrayal of their marriage but also of the child that the reader can assume Granny was carrying. The painfulness of this betrayal is exemplified when the narrator states: For sixty years she had prayed against remembering him and against losing her soul in the deep pit of hell, and now the two things were mingled in one and the thought of him was a smoky cloud from hell that moved and crept in her when she had just got rid of Doctor Harry and was trying to rest a minute.
Granny is saved of the embarrassment of bearing an illegitimate child, by the proposal of John. Granny marries John and has a good life with him, in fact she says it was, “Better than I hoped for even.” But alas, John leaves her also as he dies at an early age; the early death of John is another let down for Granny. John was the one who was supposed to be there for her and now due to his early death he has left her alone with the children. She must be responsible for them and handle all of the ranch chores by herself. Granny worries what John will think of her now that she is an old woman and he is still young, she wonders if he will still love her or if he would see her as an old unattractive women and betray her again.
Hapsy, the daughter who appears to be the favorite child in the family, also “jilts” Granny. Granny repeatedly calls out for Hapsy while she is on...