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What are the thoughts that go through the minds of those who near death? These are the questions at the heart of A Clean, Well-Lighted Place written by Ernest Hemmingway and Katherine Porter's The Jilting Of Granny Weatherall.
The main focus of A Clean, Well-Lighted Place is on the pain of old age suffered by a man that we meet in a cafe late one night. Hemingway contrasts light and dark to show the difference between this man and the young people around him, and uses his deafness as an image of his separation from the rest of the world.
Similarly, in The Jilting Of Granny Weatherall, Porter discusses the regrets of an old woman revealed by her reactions to her being left at the altar and her slow death sixty years later.
Near the end of both stories, the authors show us the desperate emptiness of a life near finished without the fruit of its labor, and the aggravation of the old restless mind that cannot find peace. Throughout the stories stark images of desperation show the lives of the two main characters at a point when they have realized the futility of life.
In the story, The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, written by Katherine Porter, Granny Weatherall is a character of depth. Her name is synomonous with her character. Three main qualities of her character are her strength, her endurance, and her vulnerability. Her strength is not so much physical but mental. She lies upon her bed contemplating all that she needs to do. Her daughter Cornelia does not even come close to handling affairs as well as she does in her own mind. In addition, she tell the Doctor Leave a well women alone...I'll call you when I need you. She does not like the patronizing position that she finds herself in. The fact that she has already avoided death once seems to add to her image of strength. As we follow her mental ramblings we obtain insight to her character as a woman that has endured heartache as well as hardship.
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