Study Guide

The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Plot Analysis

By Katherine Anne Porter

Plot Analysis

Exposition (Initial Situation)

Who You Calling Sick, Buddy?

Granny is in bed being examined by Doctor Harry, but she insists that she's fine and just needs a little rest. This sets an interesting stage for the story—it gets us wondering about how serious Granny's condition actually is. 

Rising Action (Conflict, Complication)

Can't Fit You Into the Schedule Today, Death

Despite Granny's protests, Cornelia believes she's really sick, and Granny's illness does indeed get progressively worse: Her thoughts become more incoherent, she begins losing the ability to communicate with the people around her, and she generally seems pretty out of it. On the surface, Granny's conflict is with Cornelia, but Granny's deeper conflict is with her illness and impending death because she feels like she isn't ready to die yet—there's still a bunch of stuff on her to-do list.

Climax (Crisis, Turning Point)

Granny and the Grim Reaper

After all of her kids show up, Granny realizes she's dying and starts to freak out. She only begins to calm down when she realizes that dying means she'll get to see her long-lost daughter Hapsy again. After having resisted the prospect of death for much of the story, she's now facing it head on.

Falling Action

Are you There, God? It's me, Granny.

Granny watches the light and looks for a sign from God. If you can't beat Death, you might as well join it, Granny figures, as she peacefully begins to slip away.

Resolution (Denouement)

R.I.P. Granny

We're left to assume Granny dies at the end. Sure, this is really sad, but it's also a resolution of sorts. We're told that Granny herself "blew out the light," which implies that she has finally accepted that her time has come.

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