The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Character Analysis

Character analysis: “The Jilting of Granny Wheatherall”
In her celebrated short story “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” (1929), Katherine Anne Porter deals with the memory of a dying woman about being left at the altar on her wedding day. Whereas the short story is celebrated for several artistic qualities such as plot construction, character development etc, it remains one of the most effective illustrations of the genre of stream of consciousness story. ““The Jilting of Granny Weatherall”unfolds as lyrical stream-of-consciousness in the final hours of Ellen Weatherall and progresses by a flowing sequence of memories, each illustrating one of Granny’s disillusionments, beginning with her abandonment at the alter by a fiancé named John and culminating in the final ‘jiltling’ by her religion, the absence of the ‘sign’ she expected from God.” (Unrue, 116) Therefore, the story by Katherine Anne Porter celebrates the genre of stream of conscience story and the strong-willed eighty-year-old woman, Ellen Weatherall, is at the focal point of the plot in the story. The character analysis of Ellen Weatherall helps the readers in better appreciating the merit of the short story by Porter and this paper makes an attempt to make a reflective analysis of this character in order to determine the fundamental characteristics of this character.
In a close understanding of the character of Ellen Weatherall, it becomes lucid that she desires to play an active role in her own affairs as well as those of her children, establishing herself as a strong-willed character. Her dealings with Doctor Harry at the opening scene of the story illustrate this clearly. “’Get along and doctor your sick,’ said Granny Weatherall. ‘Leave a well woman alone. I’ll call for you when I want you…Where were you forty years ago when I pulled through milk-leg and double pneumonia? You weren’t even born. Don’t let Cornelia lead you on,’ she shouted, because Doctor Harry appeared to float up to the ceiling and out. ‘I pay my own bills, and I don’t throw my money away on nonsense!’” (Porter) Therefore, Granny Weatherall expresses and establishes her strong-willed personality all through the short story and she expresses her snappish and rude behavior during the visits from members of her family, a doctor, and a priest.
The character of Ellen Weatherall provides an important illustration of the dignity with great age and several features as fortitude, determination, independence make this character quite admirable woman. In other words, Ellen Weatherall represents an important portrait of dignity with great age and, through this character, the story evokes sadness while deftly escaping even the shadow of sentimentality. “Near the close of the story, Granny Weatherall – slightly cryptically – refers to having been twice jilted…. The suggestion here is that God somehow jilted Granny Weatherall and that she dies in dignified self assertion, without making herself abject before God… More important than all the literary shenanigans is Porter’s unforgettable lesson that Ellen Weatherall was no always a Granny and that a woman’s strengths often lie in what she heroically does not do and does not have despite her great human desires.” (Deats and Lenker, 172-3) In conclusion, the short story “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” by Katherine Anne Porter depicts a very significant character who represents several important features such as fortitude, determination, independence.
Works Cited
Deats, Sara Munson and Lagretta Tallent Lenker. Aging and identity: a humanities perspective. Greenwood Publishing Group. 1999. P 172-3
Porter, Katherine Anne. “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall.” People Morrisville. Sept 22, 2009. .
Unrue, Darlene Harbour. Katherine Anne Porter: the life of an artist. University Press of Mississippi. 2005. P 116.