â€œIâ€™d have you respect your elders young man.â€ This is Granny Weatherallâ€™s response to the doctor after he calmly orders her to be a good girl (124). In the story â€œThe Jilting of Granny Weatherallâ€ by Katherine Anne Porter, Granny is on her deathbed reminiscing of the hard life she has endured and wants nothing more than a little respect as she fades into her final restful sleep. In the story Granny has overcome many things in her life that show how she is a very strong, independent, and dissatisfied elderly woman.
One of Grannyâ€™s characteristics is her strength. It has brought her through many tribulations in her life. For instance the time she was left at the altar by a man she loved very much, but she relies on her faith and remembers that he will have his dealings with the ...view middle of the document...
Reminiscing of her past Granny says â€œDigging post holes changed a womanâ€ as did â€œsitting up nights with sick horses and sick negroes and sick children and hardly ever losing oneâ€ (126). Granny always managed to keep up with her errands. She did all the cooking, washing and sewing of clothes, and also grew her own garden. As Granny tries to drown out the noise of her own children talking about her as if she is already dead, she begins to think about all the things in her life that she has yet to accomplish.
The final characteristic Granny shows is when she realizes how dissatisfied she is with all the things she has left to do and the way she is being treated by everyone. Granny is getting upset because she canâ€™t figure out why her daughter and the doctor will not listen to her. Granny mutters under her breath â€œWait, wait, Cornelia, till your own children whisper behind you back!â€(126). Granny feels if they would listen to her, then they would know that in two or three days she would be just fine and back on her feet. She remembers the box of letters upstairs that she doesnâ€™t want anyone to find. If they do, they may see â€œhow sillyâ€ she was in her younger years. Granny gets upset with the fact that the memory of the man that left her is still following her today. She thought she was past those feelings, and yet she is trying to smother them out with her pillow.
Years have passed, and many bridges have been crossed. What Granny Weatherall wants reminds me of what many people say they would want on their deathbed: to know that in your final hours your family and friends will still have the same dignity and respect for you that they had when you were capable of doing everything yourself.
Porter, Katherine Anne. â€œThe Jilting of Granny Weatherall.â€
A Little Literature. Ed Sylvan Barnet, William Burto, and William E. Cain. New York: Longman, 2007. 124-131