Gothic Literature: A Rose For Emily, The Tell Tale Heart, and Daddy Essay

Gothic Literature: A Rose For Emily, The Tell Tale Heart, and Daddy Essay

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In William Faulkner’s, “A Rose for Emily, Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart,” and Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy”, are endowed with many features that contribute to their gothic form and success.
Faulkner’s,” A Rose for Emily” is characterized by a powerful imagery, plot and setting which are interwoven to create a gothic feeling. The story unfolds in Jefferson, the living fragments of a land that is plagued with civil war. Among the remains of Jefferson is Emily’s house which appears to be the summary of what has become of the wealthy and noble in Jefferson. The description of the house in itself creates a haunting atmosphere. The “stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps,” coupled with the “cemetery”, “cracked leather” and closed doors somehow foreshadows the willful decay of Emily’s physical and mental state. “…fat woman in black…leaning on an ebony cane with tarnished gold”. Emily is portrayed as a person who is merely living without any human attributes. “Her skeleton…submerged in motionless water water”, “dough” and “lost eyes” project a character that appears to have given up on life.
Moreover, the lack of chronology in the story creates a puzzle and leaves the reader wandering off into insignificant details when a dark secret is looming. The story opens with the death of Emily, then goes on to describe Emily’s house and other trivia issues about taxes. These events serve to set and keep the plot in motion despite lacking intrinsic significance to the mystery that unfolds afterwards. Emily’s purchase of arsenic, foreshadows an impending danger because not long afterwards, a stench spreads across her neighborhood. The tragedy surrounding the stench is however suppressed by the disorganized...


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...aker feels suppressed an alienated.
Metaphor plays a central role in this poem. Firstly, the speaker uses “Nazis” to build a sharp contrast between herself as the oppressed and her father, the oppressor. She creates a “Holocaust” scenario, a powerful symbol by portraying herself as a Jew who is being transported to the dead camp and her father as the German soldier in command of operation. Moreover, the “neat moustache” and “Meinkampf look” allude her father to Hitler; a name that still evokes fear and anguish among many people. Plath uses “fascist” to depict the horror from her past that continues to corner her present life through her estranged husband. The speaker however declares herself free of oppression through no lighter words than “kill you”. In the end, Plath is successful in evoking in her readers the elements that characterize her gothic theme.




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