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A Rose for Emily Essays

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"A Rose for Emily" is a wonderful short story written by William Faulkner. It begins with at the end of Miss Emily’s life and told from an unknown person who most probably would be the voice of the town. Emily Grierson is a protagonist in this story and the life of her used as an allegory about the changes of a South town in Jefferson after the civil war, early 1900's. Beginning from the title, William Faulkner uses symbolism such as house, Miss Emily as a “monument “, her hair, Homer Barron, and even Emily’s “rose” to expresses the passing of time and the changes. The central theme of the story is decay in the town, the house, and in Miss Emily herself. It shows the way in which we all grow old and decay and there is nothing permanent except change.
Miss Emily’s house is one of the important symbols which represent the past because it rejects updating like Miss Emily. The “… house had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street” (209).Then it ages with Emily an “eyesore among eyesores” (209). She had once been “a slender figure in white” (211) and later she looks “bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water... her eyes lost in the fatty ridges of her face...” (210). She represents the Old South by her actions. She avoided to believe that time were changing and did not join the new society. She even does not come out. One example of Emily lives in the past is when she refuses to pay the tax.

During Miss Emily’s funeral she referred to another symbol as a “fallen monument” (209), which could mean she was once beautiful and wealthy but with time she grew old and became poor. Also it port...


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... the nostrils, we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair” (215).
Considered in above symbols, Faulkner's story gives the idea with the changes of appearances and life of Emily Grierson by the time as an allegory for the changes in the old fashioned Southern ideals after the Civil War. Even though Emily is a strong woman, at the same time she is the victim of her resistance to change of time while the world went on without her and misperception of the people around her. In conclusion, this story “A Rose for Emily” tells the life, the love, the time, hopes, and destruction of Emily Grierson by using intelligent symbols. Emily never accepts that the changing world around her might be benefiting for her life "The newer generation became the backbone and the spirit of the town" (214), but Emily always in conflict with both her heart and her community, and modern world.



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