In "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" by Katherine Anne Porter,  does anyone know if Granny goes to heaven or hell? It seems very hard to decide.

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 “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” by Katherine Anne Porter portrays the death of an elderly woman.  In the beginning of the story, Ellen Weatherall does not realize that she is dying. She lies in her bed listening to people talk about her as though she were not there.

Her life has been tainted by George who left her at the altar.  She struggled with this her entire life. Despite having a good marriage with John, Granny never forgot this crushing blow to her self-esteem.

Granny was critical of everyone.  However, she tried to live her life following example of Christ. Her thoughts are muddled, but she returns over and over to George and his unforgivable act of rejection.

Her one sin was having sex before marriage and becoming pregnant.  This was the reason that George left her. However, her John married her instead. Her guilt may stem from allowing John to believe that all of the children were his. 

Will Granny find her way to heaven?

Yes, Granny will be able to go to heaven.  She believes in God and has faith that there is a heaven.

As a Roman Catholic, Granny would have been able to go to confession and be given forgiveness. The priest would assign her acts of contrition.

Granny had a strong belief in God.  As she moves toward her death, she says a prayer:

God, for all my life, I thank Thee.  Without Thee, my God, I could never have done it.

As a Christian, all that God asks is that she believes in Jesus and wants him to be her savior. With her faith, it is obvious that Granny has done that; therefore, the gates of Heaven will open for her.

Granny: “I went to Holy Communion only last week. Tell him I am not so sinful as that.”  He could speak as much as he pleases.  Granny felt easy about her soul.

When Granny is in the last moments of her life, she feels that God has forsaken her.  This is reminiscent of Jesus on the cross.  Jesus cried out to God:

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46).

Granny sees the light and focuses on it at the end.  When Granny asks the second time for a sign, in her muddled thinking, there is no sign. This angers Granny and she says that she will never forgive this lack of response.   She has associated her rejection by George with the lack of sign from God. The last thing that Granny does is blowout out the light. 

To Granny, the first rejection in her life came when George left her at the altar.  The second rejection comes from God when he does not give her a sign.   God does not obey man; man obeys God. This has no relationship to Granny’s acceptance into heaven.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
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