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Early in the story, Porter uses images of floating to convey Granny's state of mind as she wavers in and out of consciousness.Granny's "bones felt loose, and floated around in her skin".Then the image fades away and Hapsy comes in close to say, "I thought you’d never come." Granny's thoughts wander back to George.
Feeling as if God has rejected her just as George once did, Granny feels immense grief and, with that, the candle blows out and she dies.
"Katherine Anne Porter’s short fiction is noted for its sophisticated use of symbolism, complex exploitation of point of view, challenging variations of ambiguously ironic tones, and profound analyses of psychological and social themes." This style allows Porter to create empathy for the title character by giving readers uncensored access into Granny's mind, memories and experiences.
Her father lived to be 102, so she might just last to "plague Cornelia a little". Granny has weathered sickness, the death of a husband, the death of a baby, hard farm labor, tending to sick neighbors, yet she has kept everything together.
Granny reflects on the old days when her children were still young and there was still work to be done. She muses that he will not recognize her, since he will be expecting a "young woman with the peaked Spanishish comb in her hair and the painted fan". She has "spread out the plan of life and tucked in the edges neat and orderly".
And when Granny remembers the fateful day of her jilting, she is overcome by images of dark smoke and hellfire.
Additionally, Porter uses simile and metaphor to describe the process of dying.
However, for Granny life has not always gone according to plan. "She put on the white veil and set out the white cake for him, but he didn’t come." Granny has tried to forget the pain and shame of being jilted, yet on her deathbed, this memory keeps resurfacing. She imagines finding her dead child, Hapsy, after wandering through several rooms.
Hapsy is standing with a baby on her arm, and suddenly Granny becomes Hapsy and Hapsy becomes the baby.
After getting over a long fever some twenty years earlier, Gran ny had once and for allgotten over the idea of dieing.
Although trying to appear strong during her struggle with deathand commenting she couldn't be worried now, she had ongoing illusions of her dead daughter Hapsy and Hapsy's baby.