The Moral Decay Of The Old South By William Faulkner Essay

The Moral Decay Of The Old South By William Faulkner Essay

Length: 1547 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In 1939 a great American author, named William Faulkner, published a series of short stories about a fictional southern county that he used in many stories to depict the life style of the old south. The Biographical information provided by the Nobel Prize website said that the fictional county was very similar to his home town in Lafayette county, Mississippi (William Faulkner - Biographical). Faulkner wrote several short stories and novels which all contributed to this imaginary Yoknapatawpha county, Mississippi. Mrs.Weiskel Says that ”Entering the fictional world of William Faulkner is like stepping into the vast and majestic Mississippi wilderness he wrote about.”(Weiskel) One short story that is particularly interesting, because of the way it depicts the moral decay of the south, and focuses on a few events of the life of a share-cropper, is titled “Barn Burning”. The moral decay is apparent in the Irony, theme, and character development. Yet through flawed and infectious personality of the antagonist, the protagonist successfully escapes the otherwise inevitable family association.
As an Assistant English Professor at the Central Michigan University and Senior Policy Analyst at Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Thomas Bertonneau provided an interesting critical analysis for William Faulkner’s short story “Barn Burning”. Through his analysis and critique he writes about three major ideas that are evident in the short story. First the enormous ego and great amount of unearned pride that Abner Snoops feels. The second is the fact that Abner Snoops has great disapproval of social order. The third is the dilemma that Snarty Snoops is in due to his fathers beliefs. The Ego that Bertonneau accuses Abner Snoops of having is clear...


... middle of paper ...


... his family or choosing justice. Because he was in a moral dilemma, his character began to develop. By the end of the story he has made his choice when he goes to warn DeSpain. After that choice he cant go back and morally he is better because of it.
Between the irony, themes, and the characters development of this story, “Barn Burning” is an incredible narrative displaying the changes that the south was experiencing in this time. Anna Priddy says “In writing about Faulkner, it is best not to disentangle what he so richly weaves together.”(Priddy, Anna.) Fualkners writings are quite incredible in the way they depict the moral decay of the south. The way Faulkner writes is meant to immerse the reader in the normal life of the old south. Like Anna Priddy says, we should not try to unwind the words and ideas that Faulkner had a gift for so perfectly pricing together.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Transition from Old to New South

- The rise and industrialization of the South began with the end of the Civil War. This aided in the transition from Old to New South, from a time of poverty and slave labor to a more progressive time. The decline of the Old South was often unaccepted and ignored by southerners as they tried to cling to their past ways. Faulkner highlights the cultural shift from Old to New South through character relationships and personalities in his short stories “A Rose for Emily,” “That Evening Sun,” and “Red Leaves.” The main character in William Faulkner’s story “A Rose for Emily,” Miss Emily, is a representation of the Old South....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]

Strong Essays
1288 words (3.7 pages)

A Rose For Emily By William Faulkner Essay

- A Rose for Emily William Faulkner 's “ A Rose for Emily ” illustrates the extremes that someone may be driven to in the face of the “ loveless ” life that Miss Emily’s father created for her by driving away all the potential suitors. The major and minor events in the story help develop the plot idea that in the progress from an aristocratic but romanticized past to a more egalitarian present and future. Emily represents the standards and attitudes of the old south, and her inability to accept the changes of the new generation, leaving her even more isolated than ever....   [tags: William Faulkner, Southern United States]

Strong Essays
1351 words (3.9 pages)

William Faulkner 's A Rose For Emily Essay

- 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....   [tags: William Faulkner, Sartoris, The Mansion]

Strong Essays
1963 words (5.6 pages)

A Rose For Emily By William Faulkner Essay

- Kyle W. Brophy Dr. Gasior Literature 201 December 7, 2015 “A Rose for Emily” “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner sounds like an inspiring story or a story in which Emily was the kind of person that one would describe a rose as. When we think of a rose most people feel that a rose symbolizes love or an intimate symbol. “Using the decay and corruption of the South after the American Civil War as a background, William Faulkner produced his famous short story A Rose for Emily, which recounts the story of an eccentric southern spinster, Emily Grierson....   [tags: Short story, William Faulkner, Joyce Carol Oates]

Strong Essays
1650 words (4.7 pages)

A Rose For Emily By William Faulkner Essay example

- Research Paper: A Rose for Emily William Faulkner’s short story “A Rose for Emily” tells the story of Miss Emily Grierson’s abnormal life. “A Rose for Emily” contains a number of different themes, each of which can be interpreted differently between readers. Through evidence found through out the short story scholars are able to break down the story to find the primary themes. The three main themes are death, the past and the present, and community vs. isolation. According to the “A Rose for Emily” overview done by Short Stories for Students, “death is prevalent, both literally and figuratively, in ‘A Rose for Emily’”(5)....   [tags: Short story, William Faulkner, Death, Sartoris]

Strong Essays
1438 words (4.1 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: Short story, William Faulkner, Narrative]

Strong Essays
1142 words (3.3 pages)

Symbolism in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Essay

- William Faulkner's, "A Rose for Emily," is a short story that is narrated by an anonymous character to be considered as the voice of the home town and tells the story out of order. The story is based on the life of Emily Grierson and how it connects with the South after the Civil War. There are many parts in the story that show symbolism in varieties of ways. Some of these symbols include Emily's house, her hair, her clothing, and even the "rose" that is brought in the story. Symbolism is shown throughout many different ways through all forms of literature....   [tags: South, Civil War]

Strong Essays
898 words (2.6 pages)

Essay about Foreshadowing in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

- Foreshadowing in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily William Faulkner paints a tragic tale about the inevitability of change and the futility of attempting to stop it in "A Rose for Emily". This story is about a lonely upper-class woman struggling with life and traditions in the Old South. Besides effective uses of literary techniques, such as symbolism and a first plural-person narrative style, Faulkner succeeds in creating a suspenseful and mysterious story by the use of foreshadowing, which gives a powerful description about death and the tragic struggle of the main character, Miss Emily....   [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]

Strong Essays
797 words (2.3 pages)

Emily Grierson Living in the Past in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

- Emily Grierson Living in the Past in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily    In "A Rose for Emily," by William Faulkner, Emily Grierson seems to be living with her father in what people referred to as the old South.  However, most of the story takes place after the Civil War, but Miss Emily is clearly living in the past.  As critic Frederick Thum pointed out, "Many people are able to survive in the present, but give little or no thought to the future, and these people usually live in the past.  Such a mind is the mind of Miss Emily Grierson..."(1).  Miss Emily's comprehension of death, her relationship with the townspeople, and her reaction toward her taxes are clear examples that she is li...   [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]

Strong Essays
1584 words (4.5 pages)

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner Essay

- The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner One of the main realities of human existence is the constant, unceasing passage of time. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner explores this reality of time in many new and unexpected ways as he tells the tragic tail of the Compson family. The Compsons are an old Southern aristocratic family to whom time has not been kind. Years of degeneration mainly stemming from slavery have brought them to the brink of destruction. Most of the story focuses on the Compson children who are undergoing the worst of the social and moral decay....   [tags: Slavery The Sound and the Fury Essays]

Strong Essays
1024 words (2.9 pages)