One might not consider the seriousness of Granny’s condition until we see the contrast of narrations between herself and reality. Just like in a classic horror movie, a scene that seems perfectly normal and placid, sends chills down your body the next moment, once you hear the real story and the terror is revealed(The Yellow Wallpaper!). The Jilting of Granny Weatherall reveals the chasm between our thoughts and our actions-what we say and do and what we mean to say. When Granny is caught at one moment by Cornelia, she seems unable to control her inner thoughts, yet she is truly innocent as this was not intended. “So good and dutiful that I’d like to spank her” and Cornelia’s reply, “what’d you say, Mother” bring the reader to reality. When Granny vocalizes the words within her head, she plays along and doesn’t deny speaking out but gets defensive, probably because she is worried, confused, and angered by her own lack of self constraint. The narrator then goes on to explain Granny’s inner mind workings; she feels an urgency and that there is much to be done but in reality, she is stuck in a hospital bed. And yet, even while she is on the verge of losing herself, she understands that death is near and she accepts it. This set up or scene is very realistic and relatable-someone is unhealthy but everyone is determined to avoid the topic at hand. Granny doesn’t understand this though, as we see in her thoughts, and she perceives the doctor and Cornelia as petty, naive, foolish people. As old age comes on, often times people become more self centered, reflecting on and interpreting events in their present day with things that happened in their past. In Granny’s case, being left at the alter informs all of her psyche and Porter deftly demonstrates the effect this has on Granny’s inner world. Her interpretations, revealed by Porter as inner dialogue, are filtered by this one moment in her life and so on her deathbed, as her children and the “trimmings ad trappings” of dying are present, Porter shows us how they are interpreted by the individual. Granny wants to see George and tell him she has everything he took from her. This imagined scenario is quite powerful because we think we know what someone is thinking/experiencing and then we likely rarely do. On the other hand, Porter uses a lack of dialogue at times as a technique to show her worsening condition and she can no longer understand or make herself understand . Porter uses the lack of dialogue to highlight her isolation; her mind is racing with thoughts and last requests, seeing Hapsy, cleaning the house, yet she can’t express any of it.
Inner Dialogue vs Narrator’s Perspective October 24, 2012