Jilted in More Ways Than One
In “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” by Katherine Anne Porter, the character of Granny is that of a stubborn old woman that thinks of herself as a survivor who prides herself on the strength she has shown throughout her life. In her final hours, with her children around her bed, Granny Weatherall reconsiders her life and ponders her impending death. Almost against her will, her thoughts return to an incident that occurred more than sixty years earlier. She was left standing alone at the altar when her fiancé George jilted her. Granny’s life has echoed the event in all her decisions. The spite that she still carried within her affected the upbringing of her children who were now her caretakers. Her stubbornness becomes her children’s dilemma and her own downfall in turn. She is living in a state of confusion due to her poor health but refuses to face reality. The memory, which Granny unknowingly battles stems back to her younger years when she was left at the alter. As a result of being jilted, Granny goes on to marry John who she remains wed to until his last days.
Granny is not only unaware of the manner in which she raised her children but is also convinced that she is in good health. She seems to thrive on disillusionment and at first could not accept the fact that her days were numbered. This is portrayed when the doctor is summoned and she says, "I won't see that boy again. He just left five minutes ago" (Porter 120). She continues her denial when Cornelia calls on a priest to offer Granny her last rights. She refused to speak to the priest once he arrived. Her perception of Dr. Harry as a balloon floating around the room clearly shows her incapability of rational thought. She tells him at one point, “get along and doctor your sick” (Porter 118), which is an implication that his medical attention is not needed in regards to her. She even goes as far as patronizing Dr. Harry about her ability to fight off sickness in her...
Cited: Porter, Katherine A. "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall." Vol. 1. Literature Craft and Voice.
Nicholas Delbanco and Alan Cheuse. New York City: McGraw-Hill of McGraw-Hill Companies, 2010. 3 vols. 118-22. Print.
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