Granny Weatherall’s memory of being jilted at the altar 60 years ago has caused her to dread the unpredictable events in life. In the past, she has found comfort in organizing and controlling every aspect of her life. Now facing old age and death, she is finding it more difficult to hold onto the complete control she once had in her life. She tries to maintain overall control in her life through little tasks such as making a will and organizing her possessions.
Although her atemps of controlling death ultimately fail, leaving her panicking during her final moments. She once again shows her need for control by blowing out her own candle of life, which gave her peace by being able to control her own death. Granny Weatherall’s story shows that in an unpredictable world, people can find comfort in being able to control and organize certain aspects of their livesKatherine Anne Porter uses multiple points of view in her short story “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” to help the reader understand how Granny Weatherall feels throughout her last days in life. Switching from the narrator point of view of explaining her life, to Granny’s personal thoughts on the same topic, gives the reader a well-rounded idea of what she is experiencing.
The reader can better empathize with Granny because they see her fear of not being in control from her own thoughts and words. Switching points of view in this story has allowed the reader to have both background knowledge on Granny’s life, and a way to connect with Granny personally as she goes though death. The reader can experience Granny’s fear of losing control from her own eyes. This personal connection the reader shares with Granny through her passing couldn’t have been accomplished without the switching points of views. When George abandoned Granny on their wedding day she felt like “the whole bottom [had] dropped out of the world”. Because these feelings were so hard to bare, she is now scared to every be blindsided by life again. Although. “The thought of him was a smoky cloud from hell” that “crept up and over the bright field where everything was planted so carefully in orderly rows. ” Katherine Porter wrote this to show that George is a constant reminder to her that there are aspects in her life that she will never be able to control.
After constantly living a life where she felt the need to “spread out the plan of life and tuck in the edges orderly. ” Granny is now in her old age and is faced with death. She “found death in her mind and it felt clammy and unfamiliar. ” This feeling of unfamiliarity causes Granny to try to control and organize her own death. Being bedridden, she tries to find little ways to control her situation. She does this by treating her adult daughter Cornelia, who is her caretaker like a child. She also tries to assert control over Dr. Harry by telling him to “leave a well woman alone. I’ll call for you when I want you”. To Cornelia and Dr. Harry, her attitude towards them is just her being a cranky old lady, but to Granny it’s her way of controlling the situation like she once did when she was at her best. Trying to find the organization she once had in her past life when “she had kept a better house and had got more work done. ” She focuses on simple tasks like making a will and sorting through a box of letters. Although she would never complete any of these tasks because she always said, “she would start tomorrow and do them” This shows that Granny does not think death will come soon so she sees no reason to be prepared for the worst. When Granny’s attempts to have control over death ultimately fail, and she realizes that it is her last day, She becomes panicked and suddenly starts noting all the tasks she hasn’t had time to finish.
Even in her last moments she is trying to find comfort in organizing, something that she has done most of her life and that made her happy. She feels utterly out of control in this moment just as she did when she was left at the altar.
In her final moment of life Granny is still seeking control in death and accomplishes this at the close of the story when, Granny herself blows “out the light” of her own life. She has finally decided to take death into her own hands, which gave her a moment of peace before she died. This story shows that even though life and death can never truly be controlled, some peace and comfort can still be found in maintaining a personal sense of control. Granny’s controlled and organized home life gave her comfort in an unpredictable world. Even though bad surprises happened to her, it taught her to find comfort in controlling her own life to minimize more surprises that come her way. Her jilting at the altar and her quick death both took her by surprise, but she was able to find comfort in the little thing she could control like her home, children, and even the last moments in her life when she blew “out the light” ultimately gaining a little control in her own death which gave her comfort in her last moments.
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