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It’s A Hard Knock Life For Them

1714 words - 7 pages

In both Katherine Porter’s “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” and Eudora Welty’s “Why I Live in the P.O.”, the main characters deal with family members they frankly do not like. Due to both of their being jilted by men, they are full of resentment and anger causing these women to leave their families on bad terms. Porter and Welty are presenting through the character’s flashbacks and memories that we should pick our battles wisely when it comes to our families because one day they will be gone and, some of us might miss our deceased loved ones, like Granny from “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall”, or be filled with a hatred towards them, like Sister from “Why I Live in the P.O.”.
Porter and Welty both provide flashbacks and memories in their stories to help the reader see what Granny and Sister’s lives were like before everything fell apart with their families. Porter’s “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” is packed of the flashbacks and memories of Granny’s past relationships with the only people she loves even though are all dead. She reminisced about her youthful days when she was strong, independent, and with John, the man who stood her up at the altar and died when Granny was young. She still loves him and wants to see him, but “John would be looking for a young woman with the peaked Spanish comb in her hair and the painted fan,” (Porter 81) she believed he would not recognize her. Granny also lost one of her daughters, Hapsy along with her newborn who also died. When Granny brought those memories to the surface a fog of darkness, clouds reality and she gets lost and recalls that, “there was the day, the day, but a whirl of dark smoke rose and covered it, crept up and over into the bright field where everything was planted so carefully in orderly rows” (Porter 82). These vivid memories are what egged on Granny’s anger and attitude towards her still living caretaker/daughter Cornelia, whom she did not like. She believed that Cornelia is always talking about her and that “She always kept things secret in such a public way,” (Porter 80). Even though Cornelia cared for her mom and loved her tremendously, Granny’s mind was consumed with mournful thoughts and explains why Granny feels and acts the way she does towards her. She believed Cornelia was “so good and dutiful that I’d like to spank her,” (porter 80) then imagined that, “she saw herself spanking Cornelia and making a fine job of it,” (Porter 80). Cornelia’s dutiful help went unnoticed, because Granny did not want her, she deeply longed for her deceased grandchild and daughter, Hapsy. The sudden death of the two caused Granny to experience upsetting illusions during her moments leading up to death. In fact, while she was being spoken by Doctor Harry she zoned out and thoughts had seemed to have Granny in a comatose, but she was only dreaming, and in this dream Granny was able to see Hapsy with her grandchild. Granny “had to go through many rooms to find Hapsy standing with a baby on her...

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