The Jilting of Granny Weatherall

by Katherine Anne Porter

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Does Granny Weatherall die peacefully, impatiently, or angrily after receiving "the sign" she requests?

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I think Granny Weatherall dies very clearly in a state of resigned despair.  The ending of the story shows that she has been jilted twice.  The last paragraph states, "For a second time there was no sign. Again no bridegroom and the priest in the house. She could not remember any other sorrow because this grief wiped them all away. Oh, no, there’s nothing more cruel than this – I’ll never forgive it."  She has been jilted twice, once by George, and now by Christ (the bridegroom).  And this jilting takes place before she blows out the candle, so she is not the one doing the jilting first.

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There is a very good critical essay available here at eNotes on this topic.  In "The Secret Sin of Granny Weatherall," the authors, Daniel Barnes and Madeline Barnes, argue that Granny dies in a state of frustration that is neither peaceful nor angry, but confused.  She has accepted that death is inevitable, but has not made peace with her "sin" or her religious beliefs.  Here is an except from the essay; a link appears below. 

"So there was nothing, nothing to worry about any more"... Her confidence in this "secret comfortable understanding'' does, by the end of the story, undergo a severe shock; indeed, her passage from extreme self-confidence to frustrating agnosticism marks the theme of the story as a whole.

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