Denial: “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” Essay
John Caulfield English 282 Paper #2 Denial: “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” The story,”The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” by Katherine Ann Porter, is a short story based on an elderly woman on her “death bed”. She is in company with some family, but most of the story goes through her thoughts before she dies. You find out a lot about Granny Weatherall’s thoughts and values in her final moments. What stands out the most is the denial that Granny Weatherall displays. “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” begins in Granny Weahterall’s room.
She is in her bed talking to her daughters husband Harry, who is a doctor. She isn’t too fond of him and gives him a lot of attitude and Granny Weatherall isn’t Harry’s favorite either. This gives an initial impression of her being a cranky old lady, but with further readying you find out that she just simply isn’t fond of Harry. Harry leaves the room and speaks to his wife, Cornelia, about Granny Weatherall’s sickness. Granny Weatherall hears them and becomes enraged. She claims that she is fine and that she has been much sicker before and fought much more serious illnesses.
She actually doesn’t even believe she is sick and that Harry is wasting his time trying to find out what is wrong with her. She claims that she has been ready to die for over 20 years. At first glance she seems to be upbeat about her future, but I believe that she is in denial. The next part of the story she begins to tell you about her past and her relationships she’s been through. One of them is George. She was planned to get married to George but he left her standing on the alter. She was hurt by this but lets Cornelia know that she has lived a rich live and has regained everything that George took from her.
She then begins to think about John. She makes it out that she had a wonderful life with John and she keeps wanting to see him. Although she makes it apparent that she loved John, even in her old age she hasn’t forgotten about George. She claims she is over him but for her to still think about him the way that she is, points that she is in denial that she is not over George. Another example of how Granny Weatherall is in denial is the way she treat her daughter, Cornelia. She treats her horrible and does not recognize it. It’s hard to tell if she knows that she is or if she is doing it without knowing.
Earlier in the story she mentions how Cornelia is a very bad housekeeper and says how much better she is than her and that she is a harder worker than her. By this time in the story you can begin to realize that the disease that Granny Weatherall has is affecting her thought process and judgment. When Cornelia comes back into the room she begins to talk about unrelated topics and seems like she has no idea what’s going on. Cornelia tells her that the priest is there to see her, which excites her because they both like to drink tea and talk.
She does not realize though that he is coming because they believe she is about to die. This shows that she is really in denial about dying. Throughout the story Granny Weatherall doesn’t realize how hard she is making it on her daughters. Her state of denial is hurting them but also making it difficult for them. They are trying to help her but she is pushing them away. She may not realize this because of how sick she is, but she also may not realize because it seems that this is the way she always was.
Although Granny died in denial, she did live a successful life. She was heart broken by George when she was young but she was able to take her life back and not let that set her back. She raised successful daughters and was able to have a successful marriage with John and even though he died, she still lived her life. She was a nurse and took care of people. Although she may have taken on life in a different way then most, it worked for her. But it is evident that she did live in denial.