Free Essay - Setting in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily


Length: 915 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓
Importance of Setting in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily


Setting is place and time, and often provides more than a mere backdrop for the action of a story. William Faulkner uses this device in his complex short story "A Rose for Emily" to give insight into the lonely world of Miss Emily Grierson.

Faulkner portrays the townspeople and Emily in the southern town of Jefferson during the late 1800's to early 1900's. The town is more than just the setting in the story; it takes on its own characterization alongside Emily the main character. It is the main reasoning behind Emily's attitude and actions. It gives the reader an easier understanding into why Emily makes the decisions she does as the story unwinds.

The town of Jefferson was deeply indirectly involved in the life of Emily Grierson. They watched and debated her every move, being her analyst, they wondering why she did certain things. They had their own idea of who she was and what they wanted her to be. The reason being was that the aristocratic Grierson family that her father headed was very highly recognized in the past era of the Confederacy. Her father had much power and was close to a very popular mayor named Colonel Sartoris.

The power Emily's father has over Emily can be seen in a portrait of the two that the narrator describes: "Emily a slender woman in white in the background, her father a spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip." (141) He does in fact control her like a horse, never allowing her to date anyone. And until his death she indeed does not.

After Emily's father dies, we find her becoming involved with a gay man named Homer Baron who she probably believes she will eventually marry. It is her continual relying on a male figure that gets Emily into this situation. It is the setting in which she lye that has this impact on her thought and understanding.

We eventually find out in the end that Emily kills Homer. She does this not do this out anger or hatred toward this man. It is the belief on her part, that a man has to play a significant role in her life that drives Emily to do this unbelievable act of violence. In her mind this was not a crazy thing to do.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free Essay - Setting in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily." 123HelpMe.com. 16 Dec 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=10881>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Free Essay - Setting in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily - Importance of Setting in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Setting is place and time, and often provides more than a mere backdrop for the action of a story. William Faulkner uses this device in his complex short story "A Rose for Emily" to give insight into the lonely world of Miss Emily Grierson. Faulkner portrays the townspeople and Emily in the southern town of Jefferson during the late 1800's to early 1900's. The town is more than just the setting in the story; it takes on its own characterization alongside Emily the main character....   [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner] 915 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Free College Essays - Fear in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily - The Power of Fear in A Rose for Emily  A Rose for Emily  Life is fickle and most people will be a victim of circumstance and the times. Some people choose not to let circumstance rule them and, as they say, “time waits for no man”. Faulkner’s Emily did not have the individual confidence, or maybe self-esteem and self-worth, to believe that she could stand alone and succeed at life especially in the face of changing times. She had always been ruled by, and depended on, men to protect, defend and act for her....   [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner] 909 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Decline of Emily in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Essay examples - The south went through major political and cultural changes after the Civil War as it became less agrarian and more industrialized. The previously insatiable need for slave labor to run the South was eventually lessened by the use of machinery making it more profitable to farm without an enslaved human workforce (Engle). Thus the entire way of life for both black and white southerners changed. However, the change in cultural norms seemed to be a slow progression. Faulkner symbolized the decline of the old ways in “A Rose for Emily” through the aging process of Emily Grierson and the relationship between Emily and her house servant, Tobe, which symbolize the depth of cultural norms and slown...   [tags: A Rose for Emily, 2014]
:: 2 Works Cited
730 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
A Rose for Emily By William Faulkner Essay - In my opinion, William Faulkner displays a perfect example of the old saying, “what goes around comes around” in the short story A Rose For Emily. The main character, Miss Emily Grierson, doesn’t know why the public eye looks at her the way it does, she also doesn’t know why people act so differently around her. I believe it is strongly because of her father and the way he treated her while she was growing up. The story only spoke briefly about the father, but what they did say made him out to be somewhat controlling person....   [tags: Free Essay Writer] 639 words
(1.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A Rose for Emily By William Faulkner Essay - A Rose for Emily The following paper analyzes the William Faulkner story called A Rose for Emily. The paper discusses my thoughts and ideas about the story, and evaluates different elements of the story. The paper analyzes the style that the author uses in characterization, and a few specific methods used to convey the plot and lay out the scene mentally, giving specific examples in the story. Finally, I give my overall opinion of the story. I found the first paragraph very enticing; first drawing me in with the explanations of why all the townspeople attended her funeral....   [tags: Free Essay Writer] 610 words
(1.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A Rose for Emily By William Faulkner Essay - Faulkner’s "A Rose For Emily" is told by a resident of Jefferson, Mississippi, a town in which the Grierson family is the closest thing to true aristocracy. To the outside world it might have appeared that Miss Emily Grierson grew up wealthy and happy, however it was a lonely life for her father ruled Emily with an iron fist, turning away every suitor. No man was good enough for his daughter. The first thing Emily did after her father’s death was find a boyfriend named Homer Barron. She went out driving with Homer, and bought him expensive and personal things like a silver toilet seat and a nightshirt....   [tags: Free Essay Writer] 406 words
(1.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A Rose for Emily By William Faulkner Essay - After the Civil War, many Confederate soldiers returned home and founded nothing and many had no place to stay. Many people that God was punishing them for all the sins that they had done to the blacks. But many other Southerners refuse to accept that they were defeated by the Union. Instead, they thought that God spared them for something more important. So, they thought of the war as a lost cause and they interpreted it as a stepping stone to the South's salvation. This is the feeling in Mississippi where " A Rose for Emily," takes place....   [tags: Free Essay Writer] 447 words
(1.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A Rose for Emily By William Faulkner Essay - "A Rose for Emily';      In life people often think that the life they live in is either a good one and do not think that a change would do their life any good. In reality change is good, but Emily in the short story "A Rose for Emily'; thinks that the life she has lived through is the one to keep and does not want to change it even though to us we might think of her life as a tragic and deprived one.      The time frame of Miss Emily Grierson to her was the greatest time era, which was the "Old South';....   [tags: Free Essay Writer] 847 words
(2.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Role of the Watch in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Essay - The Role of the Watch in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Even the casual reader of William Faulkner will recognize the element of time as a crucial one in much of the writer's work, and the critical attention given to the subject of time in Faulkner most certainly fills many pages of criticism. A goodly number of those pages of criticism deal with the well-known short story, "A Rose for Emily." Several scholars, most notably Paul McGlynn, have worked to untangle the confusing chronology of this work (461-62)....   [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]
:: 2 Works Cited
1194 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Theme of Isolation in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily - The Theme of Isolation in A Rose for Emily As an author establishes the characters he simultaneously attempts to develop the theme of the story. An author uses various elements such as point of view, the setting, and symbols to work toward the expression of one central idea. In looking at "A Rose for Emily." a short story by William Faulkner, it is evident that Faulkner successfully carries one main idea throughout the piece, the idea of being isolated from society. One of the most effective elements that Faulkner uses in his development of this main idea is the use of imagery....   [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]
:: 2 Works Cited
1054 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches




Her intention was to be able to hold on to the male figure that she needed in her life.

One critic, Celia Rodriquez, believes that Emily is trapped in the world of the past. She thinks that Emily has no recognition of fallen figures like her father and Colonel Sartoris. Celia backs this belief when she says that Emily believes she has no taxes in Jefferson because of verbal agreement with the Colonel "who had been dead for ten years." (1) A time when her family had power in the South and when the Grierson name meant something. Rodriquez talks of Emily saying "She was a "monument" of Southern gentility, an ideal of past values." (1) She gets the feeling that Emily is at constant battle with the present era.

Another critic Mary Ellen Byrne, also sees the town as a character in the story. Byrne believes that a reader comes to understand Emily by what the town thinks of her. This can be easily understood because in fact the narrator is a member of the town. Byrne says that "We can posit that the narrator constructs this story-telling as a stream of associations, a mesh of dramatic scenes and images." (1) These images that the narrator gives us curves a readers thought of Emily. We at one point pity her because of her loneliness and at another despise her because of her grossness. Just as the narrator does in the telling of the story with his or her great use of words.

At last, another critic explains "A Rose for Emily" as a terrible tragedy of how the societal roles of women can lead them to do intolerable acts. As is the case when Emily kills Homer in this story. This critic describes Emily's relationship with her father as the "patrimony of a man." (1) Emily find her happiness by having a man in her life, and after her father dies she has no one. This indeed is why she seeks out Homer Baron. The critic says "Emily is determined to have her man, her only chance for happiness." (2) She was so determined to have a man that she does not take notice when she picks Homer who is gay.

By understanding "A Rose for Emily" one can see how much of an impact setting can have on the life of a person. The way it can mold one's thought is incredible and sometimes unbearable to believe. It can cause one to do terrible things as is seen in this story. The town of Jefferson causes Emily to do the things she does. In the end, they really got what they wanted.

Works Cited

Faulkner, William. "A Rose for Emily." Discovering Literature: Stories, Poems, Plays. 2nded. Ed. Hans P. Guth and Gabrielle L. Rico. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997. 140-147

Author Unknown. "From Loneliness to Lunacy: "A Rose for Emily" and "The Yellow Wall-Paper."

Byrne, Mary Ellen. "Town and Time: Teaching Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily." http://www2.semo.edu/cfs/rose.html. (October 19, 2000).

Rodriquez, Celia. "An analysis of "A Rose for Emily." http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~daniel/amlit/reader/south/ ` rodriquezrose.htm


Return to 123HelpMe.com