What is the denouement of The Jilting of Granny Weatherall?
The ending of the story leaves the reader feeling the fear and loss that Granny is going through. The role of women in the south was limited and marriage was the ultimate sense of validation. To be jilted at the altar was more than a romantic annoyance or episode. Through her dying thoughts we see a woman that has spent her life validating her existence. She brags about her toughness, capacity as a mother and wife and shows a great deal of focus to the man that left her at the altar. She thinks of the idea of meeting John “tomorrow” as feeling a sense of vindication in the moment. She swallowed the pain of that rejection for 60 years and feels completely assured that God would meet her at death. This second jilting is worse than the first. He preoccupation with finally meeting John again exposes her truest motivation. Heaven is a final meeting place with John, as well as God.
A denouement is the afterthought, the final touch on a story that has already been resolved. The death of Granny Weatherall is the resolution of this story. The fact that she never received the "sign" she wanted to receive from God but didn't is the denouement. It is significant because, while it has no ability to change the behavior of Granny, it wipes away any earlier perceived disappointment in the gravity of this "jilting".