Depiction of Meaninglessness in Granny Weatherall

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Amanda Ferguson
Harper
English IV AP IB-2
11/2/10
Depiction of Meaninglessness in “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall”
Katherine Anne Porter’s short story “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” depicts the last moments of an old woman’s long hard struggle through life. Using modern techniques, Porter delves into the mind of Granny Weatherall describing the key moments of her life that influenced her outlook. Her life was not only a struggle against the emotional and physical obstacles to survival, but also a struggle to define herself and her purpose in life. Porter presents the disillusionment and meaninglessness associated with modern thought through the failure of Granny Weatherall to find and fulfill a purpose in her life. Granny Weatherall’s abandonment by those she loved in her life creates the psychological need for her to control in order to have purpose in her life. Lying on her deathbed , she contemplates that “She had spent so much time preparing for death there was no need for bringing it up again”(2). Even when approached with death she felt like she had to be in control of even the littlest thoughts. Her extreme propensity to control presents a psychological dependency; her urge to control may stem from the loss of her loved ones such as her husband John, her fiancé George, and her child Hapsy. The point of view changes occasionally switches to first person to emphasize the focus on Granny Weatherall’s desires and thoughts at specified time; for example in the middle of a description of George’s abandonment the author adds in, “No, I swear he never harmed me but in that.”(3). Because this information is directly from Granny’s perspective, it demonstrates her deepest thoughts: her need to convince herself that she is not hurt by the abandonment. She tries to suppress the unpleasant pain of the sudden abandonment in order to move on. Because she could not control the jilting by her fiancé, she instead tries to control her emotions not allowing...
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