Throughout the short story The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, the main character, Ellen (or Granny) Weatherall is on her deathbed. In this short story, Granny Weatherall goes through each of the five stages of death. The story is not in chronological order, so the stages of death are not in order, but they are all there; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Katherine Anne Porter, the author of The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, reflects herself in her story. To know what the process of dying is like, Porter must had to have experienced the death of someone close to her at some point in her life, in order to create a short story like The Jilting of Granny Weatherall.
Denial is expressed throughout the majority of this short story. Granny refuses to believe that she is finally dying, although she has been preparing herself for death for nearly twenty years, “When she was sixty she felt very old, finished, and went around making farewell trips to see her child and grandchildren, with a secret in mind: This was the very last of your mother, children!”, and now Granny is eighty years old and she cannot come to terms with her life coming to an end, even though she thought it would twenty years ago (The Jilting of Granny Weatherall). The story starts out with her telling Doctor Harry that he needs to “Get along now. Take your schoolbooks and go. There’s is nothing wrong with me.” She claims that he is the sick one for bothering a well woman, while denying that there is anything wrong with her. But she wasn’t well at all, as Doctor Harry could see her forked green vein dancing on her forehead, and since she had a fever (The Jilting of Granny Weatherall). And even at the very end she couldn’t come to terms with her own death, “I’m not going, Cornelia. I’m taken by surprise. I can’t go.” (The Jilting of Granny Weatherall). Granny’s daughter, Cornelia, is there to take care of and comfort her mother while she is ill. Granny does not see that she treats Cornelia so poorly and won’t admit that she regrets certain aspects of her life. Throughout the story it is hinted that her children have once suffered at her hands “So good and dutiful, that I’d like to spank her,” (The Jilting of Granny Weatherall) but Granny fails to ever come outright and say it. Granny’s denial is what prohibited her from living and raising healthy children because she was too busy preparing for death when she was still living. Now that she is dying, she refuses to let herself believe it. Not only did Granny’s state of denial hurt herself, but also the ones around her (Themes, Motifs, and Symbols). Also, instead of facing and dealing with the memory of George jilting her, she represses it. For sixty years, she keeps it in a deep recess in her heart. While she lies on her deathbed, she seems to reflect and suggests that she was better off without George anyways and she states “What if he did run away and leave me to face the priest myself?” (a Study Guide). She never wanted to admit the truth, but she couldn’t hide from herself. Anger is one of the five stages of death that is most closely tied with denial. As Granny lies on her deathbed thoughts race through her mind as she considers all the troublesome incidents from her past. For example, Haspy leaves her, when her children left her, when her husband John dies and when George leaves her at the altar. She becomes irritated with those around her that are generally trying to comfort her because she believes nothing is wrong with her and is unsure as to why they are there. Her daughter Cornelia, Granny’s priest, and Doctor Harry frequently visited her bedside in hope that she would come to the reality that she was dying. Granny comes of as an angry person throughout the story out of aggravation and confusion (What is the Narrative Argument of). For example when Cornelia asks Granny if she needs or wants anything, Granny’s response was, “I do. I want a lot of things. First...
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