Katherine Anne Porter by jennyyingdi


1890 - 1980
   Born in a log cabin in Texas
   Raised mostly by her grandmother
   Had a sprawling family
   Familiar with hardship and deprivation
   Fragmentary schooling – education was not steady;
    divided into “chunks” of schooling
   Married for the first time at 16; married 4 times
   Impatient with lasting marital relationships but didn’t
    like being alone
   Traveled widely – lived in the West, Greenwich
    Village, Mexico, Paris, and Berlin (other places as
   Worked as a newspaper reporter and a translator
    A creative writer who was largely self-taught
   Became well-red; had a natural talent for story
   Works present southern women who are caught up
    in a web of custom and obligation
   Main themes include burdens of past evil and the
    strain with which that evil hold us captive in the
   Won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer
Terms to Know
   Stream of consciousness – a style of writing that
    conveys the inner – and sometimes chaotic –
    workings of a character’s mind
   Ambiguities – meanings that are unclear or open to
    more than one interpretation
   Characterization – the way that a writer reveals the
    personality of a character
Ways a writer reveals a character:
   By telling us directly what is character is like
       David was the sneakiest person in our club.
   By describing how the character looks and dresses
       Eliza, in her faded jeans, tye-died T-shirt, and sandals, sat quietly
        under the tree enjoying the day.
   By letting us hear the character speak
   By revealing the character’s private thoughts and feelings
   By revealing the character’s effect on other people—
    showing how other characters feel or behave toward the
   By showing the character in action
Types of characterization:
   Direct – the writer tells us directly; we do not have
    to figure out what the character’s personality is like
   Indirect – we have to use clues that the writer gives
    to infer what a character is like; similar to what we
    have to do in real life when we meet someone new

   In “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall”, everything
    we learn about the characters is through indirect
Vocabulary Development
   Tactful – skilled in saying the right thing
       My grandmother was sometimes less than tactful.
   Clammy – cold and damp
       When Beau passed out, he felt clammy.
   Plague – annoy
       Harry loves to plague his older sister.
   Vanity – excessive pride
       Donna’s vanity made it difficult for many people to like her.
   Jilted – rejected (as a lover)
       Edith was jilted by Juan.
   Disputed – contested
       Warren disputed the evidence brought against him.
   Nimbus – aura; halo
       As Bryant came to, he saw a nimbus around the coach’s head.
   Dwindled – diminshed
       The number of cookies quickly dwindled when the children came in from the playground.
“The Jilting of Granny Weatherall”
The story takes place in one day at Cornelia’s home,
   where Granny Weahterall lives.
Granny is an 80-year-old woman who is on her
Her husband John has been dead for many years.
In addition to Cornelia, her other children are Lydia,
   Jimmy, and Hapsy. Hapsy is her favorite.
Granny passes in and out of consciousness. As she
   does so, she interacts with her doctor and her
   daughter. She also thinks back on her long life.
Study Questions

1.   At the beginning of the story, Granny’s bones are described as
     feeling loose and like they are floating in her skin. What is
     happening to her at this point?
2.   How does Granny feel about Cornelia?
3.   What impressions do you have of Granny?
4.   Why does Granny think that her husband John “would be a
     child beside her now if she saw him now”?
5.   What happened to Granny sixty years ago?
6.   Who is Hapsy? Where is she?
7.   How did George affect Granny’s life?
8.   What are the ambiguities in the story?

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