Katherine Anne Porter in her short story, The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, tells the story of an eighty years old woman who suffers from an illness but does not want to admit the seriousness of it. This story takes place in the house of Granny’s daughter, Cornelia. The main characters are Granny Weatherall who is the protagonist, and for antagonist I would say her illness or death. Granny is a temperamental and free spirited lady that was “jilted” in the altar when she was twenty. Now that she is eighty and laying in bed she shifts in and out of consciousness. She wants her daughter and the doctor to leave her in peace as she thinks of her younger days and her husband. As Granny goes through memories, she thinks of death but believes that it is not her time yet. She keeps remembering the day when a boy named George jilted her, and she thinks of how even though she married another man, she made the most out of her life and was happy. After some time, Granny notices that there is a priest next to her and that all of her children have gathered to bid her goodbye.
This story presents an internal conflict as Granny is struggling against her own physical limitations, such as her age and the illness she has. This story is also told from a stream of consciousness point of view as we know all of Granny’s thoughts and reactions. The theme would probably be something about reaching an advanced age and having to depend on others. Granny feels she is still capable of doing her own things but her patronizing daughter Cordelia, does not approve, “don’t cross her…she’s eighty years old” (p 242).
This story although humorous in some instances is rather sad. It must be difficult for older persons to stop doing their everyday activities and to start relying in others. Also it must be hard to accept that you are sick and any day could be your last day. How can somebody prepare for that? Maybe if you have lived a happy and prosperous life it might be easier although I doubt it. I liked how Granny Weatherall does not change her attitude even as death is lurking around her. This story also made me think of my grandparents and how I barely have time to be with them anymore, and about how lonely and desperate they must feel.