A Rose for Emily is a southern gothic short story about an elderly woman stuck in her ways. When we are first introduced to Emily it is at her funeral where the entire town has come to falsely pay their respects. The men only went to Emily’s funeral because they viewed her as a fallen monument and the women only went out of curiosity to peer inside Emily’s house, which had been closed up to the world and shrouded in mystery for decades. Throughout the story, the narrator gradually describes Emily’s descent into madness and her unwillingness to accept the change happening around her. The central theme of A Rose for Emily focuses on the never-ending battle between tradition and change, which is expertly portrayed by William Faulkner’s use of
Faulkner writes “A Rose for Emily” in the view of a memory, the people of the towns’ memory. The story goes back and forth like memories do and the reader is not exactly told whom the narrator is. This style of writing contributes to the notions Faulkner gives off during the story about Miss Emily’s past, present, and her refusal to modernize with the rest of her town. The town of Jefferson is at a turning point, embracing the more modern future while still at the edge of the past. Garages and cotton gins are replacing the elegant southern homes. Miss Emily herself is a living southern tradition. She stays the same over the years despite many changes in her community. Even though Miss Emily is a living monument, she is also seen as a burden to the town. Refusing to have numbers affixed to the side of her house when the town receives modern mail service and not paying her taxes, she is out of touch with reality. The younger generation of leaders brings in Homer’s company to pave the sidewalks. The past is not a faint glimmer but an ever-present, idealized realm. Emily’s morbid bridal ...
...le circumstances, alone in the world, as increasing age, no husband, no children, and no money but not for others to feel pity for her. She did not allow anyone to feel pity for her. As Faulkner might say Emily was a symbol of the humans never wither, always pride. Elements of horror: dead, iron-gray hair gives us a suggestion of the kind of man does not wither. Although Emily died but she has lived forever in the hearts and memories of people at the village of Jefferson, even the destructive love of Emily: killed her sweetheart to keep him beside her forever. Although she was always against the norm of the community, pride to place herself outside the norm, but the people of Jefferson from the old to the young man to the woman they love and respect her. Of course there are the whispers but people think of her as to think of a thing to be respected, maintained.
In the course of a woman 's life there is vanity that prevails at first and slowly fades with the the mishaps or missed opportunities in life, for instance a once young and beautiful woman lets her surroundings affect the way she really wants to live and love. As to say, once a rose so vibrantly red and blossomed becomes withered and grey in waiting days. William Faulkner 's early 20th century story " A Rose for Emily," is an American gothic horror tale that shows the transition in Emily’s life of living her youth in the Old South and then getting older in a fast changing world that turns into the New South. Faulkner uses symbols of overprotection, emotional distress, and death through out the story to better describe the tragic life of Emily
“A Rose for Emily” takes place in Jefferson, Mississippi. The time span of the story of this troubled young woman’s life stretched over forty years, from 1875-1920. “A Rose for Emily” is a fictional story, like most of William Faulkner’s works. In A Rose for Emily, Emily represents the old south. Emily had many traditional beliefs. In my paper I will be writing about how the town reacted to her keeping her father’s body after he passed away, how the town reacted to Emily killing Homer, and if they thought she was guilty of murder or insane. William Faulkner uses “A Rose for Emily” to show how the south reacted to modern times.
The present was expressed chiefly through the words of the unnamed narrator. The new Board of Aldermen, Homer Barron (the representative of Yankee attitudes toward the Griersons and thus toward the entire South), and in what is called "the next generation with its more modern ideas" all represented the present time period (Norton Anthology, 2044). Miss Emily was referred to as a "fallen monument" in the story (Norton Anthology, 2044). She was a "monument" of Southern gentility, an ideal of past values but fallen because she had shown herself susceptible to death (and decay). The description of her house "lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps--an eyesore among eyesores" represented a juxtaposition of the past and present and was an emblematic presentation of Emily herself (Norton Anthology, 2044).
In a “Rose for Emily”, Faulkner uses Emily’s house as a symbol of the barrier Emily forms between herself and society. As society moves through generations and changes over the years, Emily remains the same, within the borders of her own household. The house is described as “in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street”(125), but years passed and more modern houses had “obliterated even the august names of that neighborhood” (125). Faulkner set the house apart from the rest of the neighborhood, and Emily is described in the beginning as “a fallen monument” and a “tradition” indicating that she had not changed in an extended amount of time. The symbol of the house, remaining unchanged through the decades that passed becomes stronger when Emily does not permit tax collectors to pass through the threshold of the house, “She vanquished them, horse and foot, just as she had vanquished their fathers thirty years before”. Emily’s image of a “monument” to the community’s small society caused her to become exempt from the demands of the state that the rest of the population had to adhere to. Emily’s house enab...
Up to the very end of Miss Emily’s life, her father was in the foreground watching and controlling, and Miss Emily unrelentingly held on to the past. She went as far as keeping a loved one’s body locked upstairs in her home for years. While admiring her loved one’s body from up close and afar, she managed to maintain a death grip on the past.
William Faulkner’s short story “A Rose for Emily” displays themes of alienation and isolation. Emily Grierson’s own father is found to be the root of many of her problems. Faulkner writes Emily’s character as one who is isolated from the people of her town. Her isolation from society and alienation from love is what ultimately drives her to madness.
In William Faulkner’s short story “A Rose for Emily” he uses many literary elements to portray the life of Emily and the town of Jefferson. The theme of the past versus the present is in a sense the story of Miss Emily’s life. Miss Emily is the representation of the Old South versus the New South, mainly because of her inability to interact with the present or come to terms with reality. Holding onto the past and rejecting change into the present led Miss Emily into a life of isolation and mental issues.
The gray strand of hair found on the pillow next to Homer Barron’s corpse is the next symbol. The lost love represented by the strand of hair is a perverse action of Miss Emily. The hair represents Miss Emily’s determination to live how she wants while disregarding anyone’s approval. Her eccentric actions proves that she lives by her own moral code, that whatever it takes to be happy is welcome, even if it is murder. “What was left of him, rotted beneath wha...
The theme of "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner is that people should let go of the past, moving on with the present so that they can prepare to welcome their future. Emily was the proof of a person who always lived on the shadow of the past; she clung into it and was afraid of changing. The first evident that shows to the readers right on the description of Grierson's house "it was a big, squarish frame house that 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." The society was changing every minutes but still, Emily's house was still remained like a symbol of seventieth century. The second evident show in the first flashback of the story, the event that Miss Emily declined to pay taxes. In her mind, her family was a powerful family and they didn't have to pay any taxes in the town of Jefferson. She even didn't believe the sheriff in front of her is the "real" sheriff, so that she talked to him as talk to the Colonel who has died for almost ten years "See Colonel Sartoris. I have no taxes in Jefferson." Third evident was the fact that Miss Emily had kept her father's death body inside the house and didn't allow burying him. She has lived under his control for so long, now all of sudden he left her, she was left all by herself, she felt lost and alone, so that she wants to keep him with her in order to think he's still living with her and continued controlling her life. The fourth evident and also the most interesting of this story, the discovery of Homer Barron's skeleton in the secret room. The arrangement inside the room showing obviously that Miss Emily has slept with the death body day by day, until all remained later was just a skeleton, she's still sleeping with it, clutching on it every night. The action of killing Homer Barron can be understood that Miss Emily was afraid that he would leave her, afraid of letting him go, so she decided to kill him, so that she doesn't have to afraid of losing him, of changing, Homer Barron would still stay with her forever.
In "A Rose for Emily," William Faulkner's use of setting and characterization foreshadows and builds up to the climax of the story. His use of metaphors prepares the reader for the bittersweet ending. A theme of respectability and the loss of, is threaded throughout the story. Appropriately, the story begins with death, flashes back to the past and hints towards the demise of a woman and the traditions of the past she personifies. Faulkner has carefully crafted a multi-layered masterpiece, and he uses setting, characterization, and theme to move it along.