Katherine Anne Porter's The Jilting of Granny Weatherall
"The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" was written by Katherine Anne Porter and first published in 1930. The story is of a women named Granny Weatherall who is on her deathbed. As she is surrounded by friends and family she remembers the life she has lived. She describes being jilted many times in her life, first by her husband-to-be and finally by death. The story was eventually made into a movie directed by Randa Haines.
A major theme in the story is that of self-pity. As a result of Granny's wedding day jilting she feels sorry for herself throughout the rest of her life. She also has become suspicious of everyone. This is shown when the doctor is speaking to Cornelia in the beginning of the story, outside of Granny's room. Granny exclaims, "First off go away and don't whisper!" Granny was apparently under the impression that the two of them were speaking ill of her behind her back.
Another common theme in many of Katherine Anne Porter's stories, including "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall", is that of death. Porter was captivated by death and dreamed of having a custom made wooden coffin after she saw a photograph taken at the funeral of one of her friends. After Porter and her nephew searched New York City; Katherine found an ad for a coffin maker in Montana and placed her order. The coffin arrived but was obviously too large for her and the large colorful flowers were not at all what she expected but regardless Katherine had her wooden coffin. Even after receiving her coffin she and her nephew discussed arrangements on several occasions. First she wanted to be buried in the wooden coffin wrapped in a linen bed sheet. Later she decided that she wanted to be cremated and have her ashes scattered in running water. Then she wanted her ashes buried next to her mother and by this time it seemed that the coffin was just a prop to amuse friends and reporters. These obsessions with her own death may be...
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