Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

Powerful Essays
1. - Theme.

2. - Conflicts, tensions and ambiguity.

3. -Symbolism.

4. - Narrative elements: point of view, tone and narrative structure.

1. - Theme.

The main theme of the Faulkner's short story is the relationship between the past and present in Emily Grierson, the protagonist. She did not accept the passage of time throughout all her life, keeping everything she loved in the past with her.

The story shows Emily's past and her family story. This information explains her behaviour towards time. Firstly, her father's lack of desire to move on into the future and his old-fashioned ways kept Emily away from the changing society and away from any kind of social relationship:

"None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily and such."(pp. 123).

"We remembered all the young men her father had driven away." (pp124)

Emily accepted this imposed role as a recluse in her own house and a woman dependent on one male figure, her father. When he died, Emily did not allow taking the corpse to the authorities. She did not want to admit her father's death. After his funeral, Emily kept herself away from changing time in her house until she met Homer Barron. They started to date and she even thought about marriage, but when he tried to leave her, she poisoned him and maintained his dead body for years in order to keep him by her side, away from the passing of time. But at the end, after many years of attempting to defeat time, Miss Emily felt victim of it. She met the same fate as her father and Homer Barron.

Throughout the short story "A Rose for Emily", time is a continuous theme represented by the character of Emily Grierson, a product of her own environment, who rejected the time's changes into the future.


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...ver, in the first and fifth sections the chronological order is a complete mess, moving from present to past and vice versa.

Finally, to sum up, "A Rose for Emily" is a very complex short story which could be analysed from many different points of view and by different theories of literary criticism. For example, a psychoanalytic analysis would study the mental illness of Emily, or the feminist criticism would analyse how Emily spent all her life depending on male figures. Although, I have chosen the new critical method because it offers a very close analysis of the text and because makes possible the appreciation of the great variety of literary recourses which Faulkner used in "A Rose for Emily".

Works Cited

Faulkner, William. "A Rose for Emily." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. X.J. Kennedy. New York: Harpers Collins, 1991.
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