The Past and the Present
How does the past affect one’s rest life? Happiness or sorrow, satisfaction or regret, haunts people and recalls their emotions toward the past. In The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, Katherine Anne Porter explores the effect of the past by characterizing a dying woman, Granny Weatherall, who is obsessed by mournful memory which caused irrevocable and painful traumas in heart. Years after years, Granny Weatherall immerses herself into the sorrow of her past, dreaming about her first fiance, dead husband, and deceased child, those who would never come back. Yet at the same time, she is a tough, staunch woman, just like her name, if read as “Weather-all”. Through the use of tone, imagery, and selection of detail, Katherine Anne Porter develops a character, a grief woman as well as a strong mother, who struggles between the past and the present. In order to Focus on the real heart of Granny Weatherall, the author applies the stream of consciousness to delineate Granny and emphasis the direct feeling in her mind. This writing strategy helps readers grasp the protagonist’s features in personality and develops them step by step, tracing the character’s fragmentary thoughts and sensory feelings. Moreover, combining with the tone that the author maintains, the narration of Granny Weatherall’s psychology reinforces an intended effect on readers. For instance, at the beginning of the story, the author makes direct introduction by short dialogues of Granny Weatherall and Doctor Harry, grasping readers’ attention immediately, and then smoothly draws readers into Granny’s mind which is narrated in the third-person point of view. Therefore, the author manipulates the fragmented recollections in Granny Weatherall’s memory and directly relates them to the reality. Furthermore, the tone, which is developed on the base of stream of consciousness, is subjective, requiring readers’ empathy, instead of reasoning analysis, to dive deeply into the mind...
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