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The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Katherine Anne Porter The author Born in Texas in 1890; years active: 1920-1977 American journalist, essayist, short story.

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Presentation on theme: "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Katherine Anne Porter The author Born in Texas in 1890; years active: 1920-1977 American journalist, essayist, short story."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Katherine Anne Porter The author Born in Texas in 1890; years active: American journalist, essayist, short story writer, novelist, political activist Penetrating insight; works dealing with dark themes such as betrayal, death, and the origin of human evil; drawing on her own life, creating rich blends of reality and imagination I shall try to tell the truth, but the result will be fiction.

2 The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Katherine Anne Porter Background Porters grandmother, Catherine Anne Porter, a strong, matriarchal woman, was the greatest influence on Porters childhood. From her, Porter received a sense of a womans being independent, and totally in control of her world. Her reliance on her grandmother is apparent in that later in her life she changed her given name of Callie Russell to Katherine Anne Porter, her grandmothers name with a modification of one letter.

3 The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Katherine Anne Porter The title In the title, jilting can refer not only to the jilting of Granny by George but also to Grannys belief that God has jilted her. The name Weatherall suggests that Granny believes she has weathered all the adversities of life.

4 The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Katherine Anne Porter Type of work Short story told partly with a narrative technique known as stream of consciousness, a term coined by American psychologist William James ( ). With this technique, an author portrays a characters continuing stream of thoughts as they occur, regardless of whether they make sense or whether the next thought in a sequence relates to the previous thought.

5 The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Katherine Anne Porter Narration Told in third-person point of view by a narrator who frequently reveals the thoughts of Granny Weatherall in language that Granny would use if she were speaking. Because Granny is disoriented, these thoughts focus on present perceptions one moment and on old memories the next. Her perceptions and recollections favor her positive view of herself.

6 The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Katherine Anne Porter Setting The action takes place in a bedroom in the home of Granny Weatheralls daughter Cornelia. Granny, about eighty, is lying face up in the bed. She is dying of an undisclosed illness. The time is probably the late 1920s. Flashbacks, however, date as far back as the late 1860s, when Granny's fiancé abandoned her on the day they were to be married.

7 The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Katherine Anne Porter Major characters Ellen Weatherall: Feisty woman of about eighty who ruminates about events in her life as she lies dying in the home of her daughter Cornelia. Because of her illness, she is lucid one moment and disoriented the next. A painful memory, one she had repressed for sixty years, surfaces and haunts her at the hour of her death. It is the memory of the daysixty years beforewhen her fiancé, George, jilted her. After she later married a man named John, she gave birth to four children. John died young but Granny carried on, rearing the children, working her farmland and orchard, and caring for animals.

8 The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Katherine Anne Porter Major characters Cornelia: Daughter of Granny. While her mother is on her deathbed, Cornelia takes care of her. George: Man who abandoned Granny on the day he was to marry her. John: Deceased husband of Granny.

9 The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Katherine Anne Porter Climax The climax occurs when Granny cannot perceive the presence of God as she lapses toward death. Granny believes God is "jilting" her: George's abandonment of her Sins that she believes have jeopardized her salvation Illness Experiencing a normal fear of death and the inability of humans to grasp fully the concept of God

10 The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Katherine Anne Porter Themes The Usefulness of Denial Responding to Loss With Perseverance Repression Following in Christ's Footsteps The sanctity of the human heart and the existential loneliness of the human condition

11 The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Katherine Anne Porter A feminist approach Porter heroines searching for identity and independence Classifying her as a granny implicitly denies her existence independent of her family, while using only her surname negates her identity separate from her marriage. Ellen is a victim of decisions made by the men in her life, and thus dies feeling unfulfilled.

12 The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Katherine Anne Porter Motif – Waste Exhorting an unnamed you to make sure that all the fruit gets picked and none of it goes to waste Warning against losing things Wasted wedding cake Anxiety about this uneaten food suggests her sadness over wastinglosing.

13 The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Katherine Anne Porter Symbol – Blue Visualizing the neatness of the white jars labeled in blue letters that identify their contents Remembering the way her children watched her light the lamps at night, leaving her once the flame settle[d] in a blue curve. Streamers of blue-gray light falling on her eyes Thinking about the foolishness of Cornelias lampshades, which turn the light blue

14 The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Katherine Anne Porter Further readings Flowering Judas and Other Stories, 1930 (adapted for American radio in 1950) The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter, 1965, New York: Harcourt, Brace & World (1966 Pulitzer Prize) Pale Horse, Pale Rider, 1939 (American radio, 1950; British TV, 1964)


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