Analysis Of `` A Rose For Emily `` By William Faulkner Essay

Analysis Of `` A Rose For Emily `` By William Faulkner Essay

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Community and culture play a large part in how a person presents them self, and how they are perceived by others. Perception is a very subjective process, and personal biases influence each person’s observations. In the short story “A Rose for Emily,” William Faulkner portrays the story of an isolated and emotionally stunted woman’s desperate attempt to not be alone as told through the eyes of the townspeople. First, Emily is isolated by her father then, after his death, by the townspeople who view her as a monument to tradition and not as a person. In Emily’s desolation, she poisons her lover, and proceeds to hide his body, in her home, for forty years. Many critics have argued Emily’s motivations for Homer’s murder. Hal Blythe reasons that her motivations were to save face within the community while retaining control over their relationship. While Thomas Dilworth argues that the negative opinions of the townspeople doomed Homer and Emily’s relationship to failure, leaving in Emily’s unbalanced mind, murder the only way to keep her lover. Furthermore, Faulkner tells the story through the voice of the townspeople utilizing the unusual choice of the plural first-person narrative voice. In addition, the unordered chronology adds new dimensions to the story; while presenting the townspeople as more than simply uninvolved observers. Also, Joseph M. Garrison Jr. contends that the narrator is the true protagonist of the story. Likewise, the narrator is more concerned with the order of the events and his own perceptions than Miss Emily herself, and uses this preoccupation with time to create an “emotional barrier.”(342) The townspeople not only gossiped about and hid Miss Emily’s eccentric behavior, but were actually passive a...


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.... According to Helen E. Nebeker, the Pre-Civil War generation views her as “a duty,” they feel responsible for her, in the tradition of Old Southern protocols, in order it maintain the importance of the Grierson family’s exalted social standing. While the generation of her peers, views her as “a care,” they follow in the footsteps of the previous generation as feeling responsible for Emily, while gossiping about her and yet not really viewing her as a person. The newer rising generation views her as “a tradition,” the tradition of dehumanizing her, while succumbing to an almost obsessive compulsion to watch, and gossip about Miss Emily’s eccentric behavior, has been established, and this generation continues it. With each generation the curiosity over Miss Emily and the sense of disconnection does not alter, but the attitude towards Miss Emily’s status does.

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