What is the function of the narrative gap or gaps that create uncertainty about Hapsy in "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall"? Consider the function of the narrative gaps both in the plot and in the...

What is the function of the narrative gap or gaps that create uncertainty about Hapsy in "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall"? Consider the function of the narrative gaps both in the plot and in the development of themes that the story explores.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This story is told from the point of view of a third-person narrator who sees into the mind of Granny Weatherall as she in engaged in what is know as stream of consciousness. Naturally as the dying old woman recalls the significant moments of her life there is a non-sequitur to her thoughts with pauses between these thoughts that are isolated at times. One reason for such gaps is the fact that the memory of George's having left her at the altar overrides other thoughts.

Granny's desire to see the child she loved so much, Hapsy, signals her need for comfort in her recall of a life-changing moment of rejection. Interestingly, Hapsy is also dead, suggesting the old woman's misfortunes with the ironic name that connotes luck (hap). Moreover, Granny's feelings also underscore the theme of the existential state of aloneness in the human condition, one that is essentially defining of Granny in her battle with memory and death. Here is a passage that defines Granny's sense of her loneliness in death:

A fog rose over the valley, she saw it marching across the creek swallowing the trees and moving up the hill like an army of ghosts. Soon it would be at the near edge of the orchard and then it was time to go in and light the lamps. Come in children, don't stay out in the night air.

Granny's desire for the presence of Hapsy is her call for the comfort of love in her most desperate hour. For, love is the one feeling that can overcome the darkness, the "night," of one's singleness with the struggle of dying. 

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