Jilting in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily and Katherine Anne Porter's The Jilting of Granny Weatherall

Jilting in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily and Katherine Anne Porter's The Jilting of Granny Weatherall

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Jilting in William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" and Katherine Anne Porter's "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall"

Webster’s dictionary defines the word “jilt” as the act of rejecting a lover. So to be deserted by another, left at the altar, or unwanted by another, is to be jilted. In William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” and in “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” by Katherine Anne Porter, Emily and Granny Weatherall throughout the course of their lives experience jilting several times. In turn, this rejection places a significant emphasis on both of their lives.

After Emily’s father passes away in “A Rose for Emily,” Emily’s sweetheart rejects her. The only man that her father must have approved of ran out on her, leaving her all alone. It must have been unbearable for Emily, to loose the two most important people in her life within such a short time of each other. Emily’s father, Mr. Grierson sent away all of the young men who had come to court her. They were not “quite good enough” for his little girl. He shut her off from society by standing in the front door “clutching a horsewhip.” He did not allow Emily to go into town to see how people lived their life. Nor did he allow her to meet people and make friends. Instead, Emily’s father kept her in the house and isolated her from society. This isolation caused Emily to become resistant to change. With no one to turn to in her time of need, Emily was forced into a period of isolation. Because her father had isolated her for the first thirty years of her life, being secluded from the community was all she knew. The narrator (the town) points out, “After her father’s death she went out very little; after her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all.” By iso...


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...gain no bridegroom and the priest in the house. She could not remember any other sorrow because this grief wiped them all away. Oh, no there’s nothing more cruel than this¾I’ll never forgive it. She stretched herself with a deep breath and blew out the light.” This second jilting at death makes the first jilting by George more moving and intensely powerful. The light, which she blows out, represents her life and she descends into the blackness of death, jilted again. Being rejected by a lover can have a major impact on one’s life as it did for Emily, in “A Rose for Emily” and as it did for Granny, in “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall.” One must find it in their heart to forgive and forget and move on with their life. The jilting of Emily and Granny Weatherall shows how time changes and how it must be embraced, for better or for worse, because the past is no more.

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