Memories in Katherine Anne Porter's The Jilting of Granny Weatherall

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In Katherine Anne Porter's "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" an old woman's light is slowly fading out and memories from her past are phasing in and out of her head as she lives out her final moments. The times she was "jilted" are pouring out of her memories, releasing themselves and allowing her the peaceful death she so desires. She has good memories: memories of her children, memories of her husband, and memories of her silly father: "Her father had lived to be one hundred and two years old and had drunk a noggin of strong hot toddy on his last birthday. He told the reporters it was his daily habit, and he owed his long life to that" (Porter 2). But it is the bad memories she's letting go of, the memories of her many "jiltings". …show more content…
Her children represent her strength, and she wishes to raise them many times over because they provided her with the consistent happiness she so desired: "Sometimes she wanted to see John again and point to them and say, 'Well, I didn't do so badly, did I?'" (3).

She sometimes thought John would no longer recognize her; it had been so long that "he would be a child beside her if she saw him now" (3). She doubts herself; she doesn't think John would recognize her but reassures herself that his love and understanding would require no explanations of her. This pride she derives from John and her children makes her "jiltings" seem more like a blessing: "It made her feel like rolling up her sleeves and putting the whole place to rights again" (3). There were still so many things she could do for her children; she didn't want to be taken yet: "that would have to wait. That was for tomorrow" (3). She was telling death, "tomorrow" not today.

Her unpleasant memories were now beginning to flow out of her: "For sixty years she had prayed against remembering George, against losing her soul in the deep pit of hell" (4). She was remembering George, the man she had so loved that left her helpless upon the altar, betrayed her so cruelly. But the whole while a comforting voice consoled her: "Wounded vanity, Ellen, said a sharp voice in the top of her mind. Don't let wounded vanity get the upper hand of you. Plenty of girls get jilted" (4). Maybe the voice of
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