This story has the power to stimulate profound feelings and an intellectual understanding of life and death. Many students have lived with or visited grandparents or have experienced the pain and grief of their grandparents’ dying. Furthermore, through its treatment of the important events in Granny’s life, the story raises the following questions which will interest most young adults:
1. What is the meaning and purpose of life?
2. How do people cope with adversity and bitter disappointment in life? 3. How do people survive from and adjust to painful life experiences? 4. How do people’s experiences in life change their character and personality? 5. What are the qualities that constitute mental and emotional health? 6. What are the qualities that Granny possessed which helped her to live successfully? 7. Does Granny have any weaknesses? If so, what are they?
8. What intelligent advice and wisdom did Granny give her family?
“The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” opens with Doctor Harry visiting the eighty-year old Granny during her final day of life. “She flicked her wrist neatly out of Doctor Harry’s pudgy careful fingers and pulled the sheet up to her chin.” He is feeling her forehead and she becomes feisty with him: “Get along and doctor your sick . . . . Leave a well woman alone. I’ll call you when I want you.” Next the author moves to the stream-of-consciousness narration which renders the thoughts, memories, and associations of Granny’s mind. This technique is especially well-suited to the story because it reveals Granny’s alternating confused and clear thoughts during her final moments as she moves from lucid consciousness to confused semi-consciousness. Moreover, it helps the narrator to illuminate meaning by moving back and forth from the past to the present. Finally, with this technique, the author uses her literary resources to give a sense of immediacy to Granny’s thoughts, feelings, memories, and...