The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Plot Summary
As the story opens, octogenarian Granny Weatherall is in bed, attended to by Dr. Harry and her grown daughter, Cornelia. Although Granny finds their concern officious, it becomes apparent that Granny is suffering from a serious illness, and that she is not fully aware of the gravity of her condition. As she ‘rummages around her mind,’ she senses death lurking nearby, and she desires to stave it off, at least until she can tie up some loose ends.
Her unfinished business primarily concerns a bundle of letters she has stored in the attic, some from her long-dead husband, John, but primarily those from a man named George who jilted Granny Weatherall sixty years ago. She wants to get rid of them tomorrow, lest her children discover them and find out how “silly” she had been. Granny’s mind continues to wander in and out of consciousness, and she becomes irritated because Cornelia seems to be whispering about her behind her back.
Cornelia’s patronizing behavior causes Granny to fantasize about packing up and moving back into her own home, where nobody will continue to remind her that she is old. Her father lived to be 102, so she might just last to “plague Cornelia a little. ” Granny reflects on the old days when her children were still young and there was still work to be done. She imagines being reunited with John. She muses that he will not recognize her, since he will be expecting a “young woman with the peaked Spanish comb in her hair and the painted fan. ” Decades of hard work have taken a toll on her. Digging post holes changed a woman,” she notes. Granny has weathered sickness, the death of a husband, the death of a baby, hard farm labor, tending to sick neighbors, yet she has kept everything together. She has ‘spread out the plan of life and tucked in the edges neat and orderly. ’ However, for Granny life hasn’t always gone according to plan. Sixty years ago she was to marry George. ‘She put on the white veil and set out the white cake for him, but he didn’t come. ’ Granny has tried to forget the pain and shame of being jilted, yet on her deathbed, this memory keeps resurfacing.
Once again, her thoughts shift. She imagines finding her dead child, Hapsy, after wandering through several rooms. Hapsy is standing with a baby on her arm, and suddenly Granny becomes Hapsy and Hapsy becomes the baby. Then the image fades away and Hapsy comes in close to say, “I thought you’d never come. ” Granny’s thoughts wander back to George. She decides she would like to see him again, after all. She wants to make sure he understands that he did not ruin her life; she was able to pick up the pieces. She found a good husband and had children and a house “like any other woman. Father Connolly arrives to administer last rites. Granny feels she doesn’t need the priest. She made her peace with God long ago. As she senses her time running out, she thinks of all the things she wants to tell her children, who have assembled to say their good-byes. She thinks of Hapsy and wonders if she will see her again. Granny asks God for a sign of assurance that she is loved and accepted, but there is no sign. Feeling as if God has rejected her just as George once did, Granny feels immense grief, and with that, she dies.
D. H. Lawrence’s the Horse Dealer’s Daughter: Summary & Analysis
In D. H. Lawrence’s “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter,” Mabel “did not share the same life as her brothers ”(195). Mabel Pervin was not close to her brothers, because there were personal and physical separations. Mabel was a plain, uninteresting woman. She seldom showed emotion on her face. In fact her face usually remained impassive and unchanged. Her brothers could be described as three handsome and well-spoken men. Mabel was independent, having taken care of the house for ten years without a servant. Even though they depended upon her, they seemed to have control over her. The Pervin brothers “did not care about anything” (195).
They were poised and felt secure about themselves. Her brothers felt superior to her. “They had talked at her and round her for so many years, that she hardly heard them at all” (196). She would either give a neutral response to her brothers, or remain quiet when they talked to her. Instead of giving her encouragement, they teased her. This treatment could have led to her insecurity. They would tease her about becoming a maid or about her “bulldog” face. Her brothers were full of energy and very talkative. Mabel also seemed to be alone in the world. Unlike her brothers who had many companions, she had had no friends of her own sex.
Sometimes it seemed that Mabel wanted to escape her life. One place Mabel felt secure and immune from the world was at her mother’s grave. “There she always felt secure, as if no one could see her” (200). Mabel was extremely devoted to her deceased parents, especially her mother. She was mindless and persistent. At the graveside, she had many different feelings. She seemed to be coming nearer to her own glorification. Also she would become remote and intent. She seemed to feel contact with the world that mother had lived. Her brothers, however, were the opposite of her.
The memory of their parents faded away in their minds. They never spoke or showed emotion dealing with their parents. They had left the past behind them and waited for the future would bring. Mabel’s devotion led to an immense personal separation between the Pervin brothers and Mable. Mainly, because Mabel wanted to live her life just like her mother did, and her brothers had moved on with theirs.
Luck Plot Summary
The story concerns a decorated English military hero, Lord Arthur Scoresby, a total idiot who triumphs in life through good luck.
At the time of the Crimean War Scoresby is a captain. Despite his complete incompetence, everyone misinterprets his performance, taking his blunders for military genius, and his reputation is enhanced with every false step he makes. At the climax of the story, Scoresby mistakes his right hand for his left and leads a charge in the wrong direction, surprising a Russian force which panics and causes a retreat of the Russian army, thus securing an Allied victory. Another interpretation of the story is that the Reverend is simply jealous of the successes Scoresby has achieved.
The Reverend, in the past, was an instructor at a military academy, where he taught a young Scoresby. According to the Reverend, Scoresby was a poor student, and “blundered” his way through promotions. When the war began, the Reverend joined the conflict, but with a lower rank of his ex-student. Throughout the story one can see that the Reverend is bitter, and his apparent distaste for the lord seems at odds with his role as a clergyman. The “absolute fool” in the story is not Scoresby, who ascended the ranks of the military through action, but rather the Reverend, who cannot accomplish anything in his lifetime.