Granny Weatherall is sick and on her deathbed. Her impressions show that she has led a full life and has always been capable of standing on her own. She is the epitome of a confident woman, as shown by her initial response to all efforts to assist her. She is, though, a delicate lady who has evidently been too powerful for too long. If the plot progresses, cracks emerge, and the viewer is shown a granny in desperate need of love and affection. The paper follows this evolution all the way to granny, who is looking for a message from God before dying. Denial and Independence
In the very beginning, Granny tells the doctor that she does not want him to come to her without being summoned. She is insistent that she is the one who can call the doctor and that there should be no movement until that happens. It is a clear sign of someone who has control issues. Though Granny needs help, she will only accept it under her conditions. She is a controlling human being and naturally wants to stay in charge until she can do it no longer.
One can also say that at this stage the old lady is in denial. She keeps insisting how well she is doing and making the point that she does not need anyone. It is inspiring but it also denies the situation at the time. For example, Granny cannot even do her own chores. She also needs medicine everyday and the doctor needs to check her regularly. She even goes ahead to lie about why she is in bed. She says, ““Don’t tell me what I’m going to be. I’m on my feet now, morally speaking. It’s Cornelia. I had to go to bed to get rid of her.”(Porter, paragraph 1) Granny is not a young woman anymore and needs help. However, it is almost impossible to convince her of the fact since her denial is quite strong.
A final characteristic of this stage of the evolution is paranoia. At one point, the doctor has to have a whispered conversation with Cornelia. It is an innocent conversation but Granny considers it suspicious. She is so paranoid that she complains about the conversation and wants to be told what it was about. At this time, the old lady might have realized that she needs the help of those around her and that made her afraid. For once, she had to trust other people. The paranoia is probably a defensive reaction to the clear prospect of not being in control anymore.
Granny starts to look inside herself and come to terms with the fact that she is leaving this world. However, there is still some fear and a yearning for control. For example, she tries to hide the love letters in her box. She thinks they are embarrassing and does not want those left behind to read them. Here is a person who has accepted that she will not be around but is still concerned about how the people remaining on earth will see her. It is clear that she is in the early stages of accepting her fate.
One can also see signs of Granny’s acceptance through her agreement to let Father Connolly speak to her and tell her what she wants. It is not every day that one has a conversation with a padre. In addition, a visit from a clergyman is usually all about reaching out for help. One either needs counseling, help praying, a confession, or just to have some questions answered. When one accepts to have the conversation, it is a sign that he or she needs help in some aspects. The visit from Father Connelly clearly shows that Granny is evolving in the story.
Finally, there is a clear evolution of the relationship between Granny and her doctor. The good doc understands how Granny is feeling and why she behaves the ways she does. He is patient enough to wait for the thawing and when it finally comes he is ready for it. Granny stops being so cantankerous and is more docile. She is still not happy about needing the doctor but her rejection is not so obvious. She has apparently resigned herself to losing control as the story has progressed. It is an action that directly leads to the next stage in her evolution.
By this time, Granny is relaxed about losing control, she is no longer fussing about the letters and now just wants to relax. She is apparently wondering what comes now after she has decided to change her attitude. When Granny says that she is waiting for a sign from God, it is clear it is not a sign about life. It is apparent that she has decided that everything is over and she is waiting for some direction from God. Her attitude has come a long way since the time she was shouting at her doctor.
Her acceptance of her fate is also shown by how wistful she is as she thinks about meeting Hapsy soon. From her words, one can tell that Granny does believe in heaven and she is sure that Hapsy is there. She is also mightily confident that she will see him soon. It is these musings that show that Granny is done with the world. She is no longer thinking about the people who are around her: she is thinking about the ones she will meet. One can say that it is her own way of taking control of a process that she cannot stop.
The final stage is peace. When the process of ding began, Granny was fighting it. she shouted at her doctors and truly believed that she was strong enough to fend for herself. However, she has realized that she cannot control her life anymore. The journey to the end already began and she cannot continue fighting it anymore. She is at this point where she has assumed control of her path to death. She does not intend to accelerate her death but she does not worry about it so much either. In the end, Granny is still in charge of her life.
In the story, the audience sees Granny evolve from an old lady fighting fate to one who is at peace with herself. When it begins, she is terrified of losing control and tries to take it out on the people around her. However, she gradually realizes where she is going and that she cannot stop the process. She thinks about what life will be after she leaves and tries to manage the image that will exist after she is gone. Eventually, she waits for death with the certainty of someone who has always been strong and in command of her future.
Porter, Katherine. The Jilting of Granny Weatherall. Unit 5: The Harlem Rennaissance and Modernism. n.d.