In The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, Catherine Ann Porter shares the story of an eighty year old woman who has lived a long life filled with personal triumphs and tragedies. Having been left at the altar by the love of her life at a young age, Ellen “Granny” Weatherall, whose name appropriately represents her character, learned to put up walls of protection around herself and her family early in life lest she fall to the same hurt once again. These protective measures and the mindset that seems to come along with said measures contribute to Granny’s bold and abrasive personality which is displayed quite often throughout the story. Granny prided herself in her ability to maintain her home and family without the aid of a man, having been voluntarily left by one man and having the other taken by death at an early age. One finds, however, that Granny was “given back everything he [George] took and more” (Porter, 86) through her second husband, children, and home.
Although Porter does take us through assorted pieces of Granny’s early life, the story actually takes place on the protagonist’s death bead. The reader finds that despite Granny’s pride and certain ways of living, she has some key regrets and mistakes which she revisits and realizes shortly before dying. Particularly, Granny realizes that she had not been reimbursed entirely of what George had taken from her those many years ago—she still had ultimately lost her virtue. Nearly sixty years later and only moments from death, Granny Weatherall realizes that she will have been jilted twice in her lifetime, not once. Granny, despite her noble personal morals and attachment to the Catholic faith, did not make it into the heaven she has longed for and will not see her beloved famil...
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...sciousness” to carry the audience through the life of Granny Weatherall. Through this form and by alluding ever so slightly (yet precisely enough) to the key characteristics of the parable, Porter is able to tell an entertaining story while expounding on a more intellectual scheme as well. The story pointedly allows that although Granny lived a life that was generally noble, she made one mistake in her youth that would ultimately keep her from heaven. The fate of Granny Weatherall is told by Porter in this short story, but is also seen in the parable of the ten virgins because Granny lost her virtue, was prepared for death at the wrong time, and was foolish in her youth.
Porter, Katherine. The Jilting of Granny Weatherall. Orlando: Harcourt, 1974. Print.
The Holy Bible, King James Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan House, 1994. Print.
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