The Jilting of Grandma Weatherall
The modernist movement in literature around the turn of the century created an incredible change in the way writers viewed their work. This new group of writers was affected by the new perception held of the world and our place in it, and they tried to communicate fears and opinions through unique writing styles. Katherine Anne Porter's early story "The Jilting of Grandma Weatherall" is a perfect illustration of modernism
In this story, the literary technique of stream-of-consciousness is used. This narrative is in no way structured into a coherent, logical presentation of events. It frequently jumps back into time to the main characters' past experiences, re-creating dramatic moments. Katherine Anne Porter writes "Such a fresh breeze blowing and such a green day with no threats in it." This referred to Grandma Weatherall on the day her groom left her on her wedding day. Granny Weatherall is both losing her powers of deliberate control over events (including the events that make up her conscious experience, which she has evidently learned to master along with the various disappointments that life has dealt her) and is also subject to a number of intense anxieties.
Another use of modernism that is shown is the total rejection of traditional themes and subject matter. Most stories before Porter's time wrote of love and marriage; however, she chooses to use different styles to get her story out. In this narrative, she wrote of death, loss, and betrayal.
Katherine Porter briefly uses symbols and images that suggest meaning rather than statements that explain meanings. When Granny blows out the light at the end of the story, it symbolizes the moment of her death. Porter writes "She stretched herself with a deep breath and blew out the light."
Between the 1860's and the...