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Written by Julia Wolf
When granny is lying in her bed, Cornelia is constantly whispering with the doctor. They are whispering about her state, and about what can be expected. At first granny thinks these are “the leaves rustling outside the window” or “somebody was swishing newspapers”, nut “no, Cornelia and Doctor Harry were whispering together”. With this imagery the author creates an atmosphere of restlessness and worry. It is not obtrusive, but is neither calming down, and it is peace and rest granny needs and wants so much.
When recollecting the day of her unaccomplished wedding the morning seems to be happy: “Such a fresh breeze blowing and such a green day with no threats in it”, but when he did not show up “a whirl of dark smoke rose and covered” this day. Imagery helps to understand what granny had gone through on that day. The outer description helps to get into her emotional experience. Wedding day is a day to be the happiest, especially for women, and it must have left a mark on her character, which became a little harsher, but also it had strengthened it.
Granny on her deathbed
When about to pass away granny asks her daughter: “Cornelia, is that lightning? I hear thunder. There’s going to be a storm.” Imagery of cold and restlessness is provoked and is reflects the inner state of Ellen (granny’s name). There is no storm, no lightening and no thunder in reality, this just helps to understand the way the granny feels, that she is not at ease at all.
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You have a lot of questions here. I can give you a general answer. Granny is dying and is having a surreal semi-conscious experience. Much like her past, Granny feels disconnected with her experiences in her final days.
Granny’s last name, Weatherall, suggests that she has experienced hardship in her life and has been able to "weather her storms". She seems resilient and stubborn. Perhaps this is why she is able to live so long!