Fear Of Change

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In A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner, Faulkner uses Miss Emily and the town of Grierson to emphasize his theme of human fear of change. Faulkner uses characters and symbols to portray this theme. Everything about Miss Emily shows how she is afraid of change: her actions, home, and relationships with people. When Miss Emily’s father dies, she denies it and refuses to accept the loss of comfort her father gave her. Miss Emily keeps her father’s body in her home because she unwilling to accept life without him. She is scared of losing things and life changing. Faulkner uses the rose as a symbol to show loss in Emily’s life and how she refuses to let go of Homer. It is the reason why Miss Emily poisons Homer Baron; she fears Homer will leave her. She felt that it would be better to kill Homer and keep him, rather than letting Homer leave her. The people of Grierson also fear change; they are tied to old South traditions and cultures. They refuse to accept Miss Emily’s relationship with Homer Baron because it does not follow typical Southern traditions and culture. The fear of change is prevalent in this community; Emily not wanting to give of her father’s body shows how resistant Emily is to anything changing in her life. Emily and the town of Grierson are afraid of anything in their society changing because they have always followed tradition; Emily is a byproduct of this community not wanting to change: “Emily is a product of that society and she clings desperately to it as when she refuses to give up her father’s body” (Dilworth 252). When Miss Emily’s father dies, she enters a state of denial. Emily’s father had been her caretaker, provider, and protector. He was the prime figure in her life and gave her a ... ... middle of paper ... ...lities. He also uses their actions to reveal human resistant to avoid change. The rose and keeping Emily’s fathers body are used to portray the attempt to control change and avoid it. The town of Grierson show how uneasy the society is about changing and are bound to their traditions. Faulkner uses the theme of fear of change to reveal a meaning in the story. Humans naturally do not feel comfortable with change happening in their lives and it is their natural instinct to avoid change. Everyday humans attempt to avoid change without even noticing they are. This leaves the reader to think how comfortable they are with change, and what they do in their daily lives to avoid change without even noticing it. It is very clear Faulkner recognizes this fear of change and makes readers aware the dangers of avoiding change, and that change can never be truly avoided.

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