The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Questions and Answers
by Katherine Anne Porter

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What is the significance of Hapsy in paragraph 41 of "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall"? What religious symbolism is attached to the vision of her and her infant son?

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Granny Weatherall is, of course, on her deathbed. As she is dying, she hallucinates, her mind moving in and out of the conscious world. "A long way back through a great many rooms," she finds her daughter Hapsy holding a child. The two seem to melt away in front of Granny as she approaches them, with Hapsy saying, "I thought you'd never come."

Clearly, the image of a mother holding her child evokes religious images of the Virgin Mary holding the infant Christ. This is reinforced shortly thereafter, as Father Connolly arrives to administer last rites (though Granny doesn't understand this.) Beyond the religious significance, it is clear that Hapsy and probably her child have died, probably in childbirth, and that their deaths were deeply traumatic to Granny—perhaps more so than being left at the altar by George and being abandoned in a different way by John's death.

Among Granny's last experiences is imagining herself as Hapsy. As she expires, "staring at the...

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