Short Story #238: The Jilting of Granny Weatherall by Katherine Anne Porter

Title:  The Jilting of Granny Weatherall

Author:  Katherine Anne Porter


Photo of Katherine Anne Porter: Source
Granny Weatherall is annoyed wtih Doctor Harry who is checking up on her.  She insists there's nothing wrong with her but the doctor  wants to double check.  Weatherall further chides the doctor and before she can send him along, her eyes close automatically.  The doctor and her daughter, Cornelia discuss her condition while she's in this stay of silence.  She speaks to say she should spank Cornelia but no one understands what she is saying.  She continues to shift back into her mind and into the real world with little control.  In her mind, she reflects on her family and growing up and taking care of her children.  Thinking of her children leads her to think of a past love and a man who stood her up on her wedding day.  As she awakes from this revelry, she tries to speak but no words come out.  Cornelia looks to the doctor and Weatherall says she just saw him but Cornelia explains that was morning and it's evening now.  She fades back into her thoughts and recalls the man (George) and wishes someone would seek him out now, sixty years later to tell him that she has lived a good life.  When she comes to again, the priest has arrived to offer confort and confession.  Slowly as Weatherall fades in and out of reality she realizes that she is dying and taht the people are here to spend her last moments with her.  Finally, Weatherall dies.


It's a sad tale about dying, intergenerational stress, and trying to understand what one's time on Earth means. Of course, the mother being eighty years old and named "Weatherall" is a hard symbol to miss.  However, there is a toughness about her character that's not to be understated, even in her passing and how she fights it.  

Short Story #238 out of 365
Rating: 4 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  7/23/2014
Source:  The short story can be found at this website.  

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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