Analysis Of The Jilting Of Granny Weatherall

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In Hoefel’s article, she presents the idea that reading “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” from a heterosexual viewpoint introduces possibly incorrect assumptions about the priorities in Ellen’s life. This heterosexual/mainstream view is inconsistent with the author’s previous feminist writing style in which the female protagonist undergoes an experience of self-discovery and defies the roles that society or custom assign them. The conjecture that her life, as a woman, revolved entirely around family, and that all of the names she mentions are only those of family members, limits the understanding of Ellen and departs sharply from Porter’s writing style. It depreciates her identity as a woman by confining her motives to a simple desire for…show more content…
For example, when her daughter Lydia arrives, Ellen says “my children have come to see me die.” She does not qualify the statement by saying “my children, except Hapsy, have come to see me die,” and while this could have been attributed to her thinking of Hapsy as dead, she had, in the previous sentence, referred to her as alive. Compared to the typical “heterosexist” perspective that many critics take, which “minimize women’s importance by subordinating them to a wish for a man,” Hoeffel’s feminist interpretation of the story is more compatible with Porter’s writing style previous works (Hoefel). It also makes Ellem’s motivations and thought pattern more realistic. Having endured men’s “patronizing treatment of her” and their “inadequacies as providers,” it makes sense that Ellen would have likely “deviated from the conventional norm that views women’s identity as formed and expressed in relation to husband and children” (Hoefel). In need of a confidant, it makes sense that she would turn instead to a relationship in which she was not expected to sacrifice her sense of self, resulting in her more mutually-benefitting companionship with Hapsy. This perspective dramatically changes the meaning of the story, making it no longer a “tragic story… of a woman’s jilting by one man” or coming to terms with a false sense of religious security (Hoefel). It focuses, rather, on the positive impact of a symbiotic friendship on a woman’s life in contrast with the self-effacing roles that she originally thought were the key to
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