“The Jilting of Granny Weatherall”, By Katherine Anne Porter
The protagonist of the story “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall”, By Katherine Anne Porter, (1930), the Granny, is on her death bed and is under the effect of medicines and in a critical situation. As she had already realized that this time it is going to be the final call for her, she has lots of thoughts running in her mind. She though being in the present and living her ailment, she is travelling through time and is again and again experiencing her past. The effect of her sedatives and her illness is making her mix the present with the happenings of the past. There’s a lot that she intends to do before she bids her final goodbye. She wants to pull herself together and be able to be self reliant again. She wants to surround herself with only the thoughts, feelings and people that she had lived for all her life and those that she values the most. She does not find comfort in the company of the doctor nor does she want the doctor to be there or help her. She does not want to give any of her time to the reverend father, even though she knows its her end now. But this is not what she wants to share her last moments with. Her mind takes her to her past and she thinks about each of her children.
Even in the last moments of her life, she is still thinking as a very caring mother and wants to fix all the problems in the lives of her children. She is worried about them and is thinking about what can be the best for them. She is surrounded by all her children, who she is hardly able to recognize and talk to. But there is only one she wants to meet. She is Hapsy. She has been connected to Hapsy all her life at a very different level than the others. The image of her in her dreams is giving her hope and making her put efforts towards defying death a little more. She is being drawn to her and her thoughts and starts thinking of her thoughts to be real. When she comes back to consciousness, her concern remains just one, that is, she wants to see Hapsy and hold her hands. She is imagining Hapsy to be there with her in that room but as she realizes that it is not so, she again gets restless about her death that she is sure she is about to face. Instead to preparing herself to die in peace, her thought process shows that her peace lies in that one memory of Hapsy, that she can recreate in her mind. She is frustrated about the fact that there are people waiting in the room and grieving about her state. She instead chooses to remain in her subconscious, and deeply in the thoughts of Hapsy. She had always been special for Granny, like a prize to treasure. But she is not with her today. Granny still tries to find solace, lost in the thoughts of Hapsy. Her thoughts encourage her to fight death and at least encourage her to try and stay a little longer, till the time Hapsy comes to her. Hapsy’s thoughts even beat her fear of death and death gains a secondary status even at that time.
“A Worn Path” , by Eudora Welty
The protagonist of the story “A Worn Path” , by Eudora Welty, Phoenix Jackson, is an old and frail lady living for just one cause, that is her grandson. The story is about her perspective towards life. It is important to note that her motivation towards her actions draws its energy from that fact that she has to take care of her grandson and she is so dedicatedly doing it. She is old and not very fit to face the sort of hardship she is subjected to, just to get the medicines for her grandson. The story describes about her own age related issues and illness, like that of forgetfulness and black outs. In the course of the story we also get to know all the problems that she faces to reach the city from her village, walking the lengths of the forest and uninhabited land. But there sits some force inside of her that drives her to fight against all odds and do what she has got to. Her attitude towards the hardships that she stumbles upon is very positive and the reason for that positivity is only her grandson. Because of him being in her life she does not think of herself as someone who old but she presents herself to every situation of life in a very youthful manner. Just for the reason that there sits her grandson back home waiting for her, gives her the courage to withstand all negativity and handle with liveliness any issue at hand. She suffers through all sorts of problems while moving through the forest and she faces it upfront and does not blame anything on her age. She is not afraid of anything unseen or unknown, because the only thing that occupies her mind is the well being of her grandson.
The story gives an impression about Phoenix that she thinks about her grandson all the time and all her actions are directed towards his happiness. In the hospital after collecting the medicine, when she gets a nickel, her first thought is to get a toy for her grandson and forgetting about all the problems she faced while reaching the city she feels happy thinking how happy her grandson would be when he sees his gift. It is important to note here, that even though it has been impressed upon the minds of the reader that the medical situation of her grandson is not very well, that thought does not affect Phoenix’s positivity towards the thought of she and her grandson living and staying together. She, as a routine, works tirelessly towards what she must do to and what is best for her grandson. In this situation, it is commendable how an old, frail lady, practically alone in all her endeavors, holds herself together and takes life as it comes, without even thinking about any type of weakness of her own. This strength that she lives her life with, she derives it from the thought of her grandson alone. She is motivated towards living and sharing life with her grandson in a very youthful manner and this makes her super confident about the actions that she takes towards doing so.