William Faulkner's central theme in the story "A Rose For Emily" is to let go of the past. The main character in the story, Emily Grierson, has a tendency to cling to the past and has a reluctance to be independent. Faulkner uses symbols throughout the story to cloak an almost allegorical correlation to the reconstruction period of the South. Even these symbols are open to interpretation; they are the heart and soul of the story. With the literal meaning of Faulkner's story implies many different conclusions, it is primarily the psychological and symbolic aspects, which give the story meaning.
Miss Emily cannot accept change to any degree. She is unable to ameliorate as the rest of the society does. The Old South is becoming the New South, and yet Emily still has a Negro man helping around the house. Her house "had once been white" and sits on what "had once been" a most select street, however now it is surrounded by cotton gins, garages, and gasoline pumps. This scene creates a sense of the house being "an eyesore among eyesores" (469). Another example of Miss Emily's ability to refuse change is when she does not allow a house number to be placed on her house when the town receives free postal service.
Emily's father denies her the freedom to establish relationships with men. In fact, Emily was denied her ?rose.? A rose if often referred to as a symbol of everlasting love between a man and a woman. Since her father denies her the chance to court men, she has no chance to even fall in love. "We had long thought of them as tableau, Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background, her father spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip, the two of them framed by the...
... middle of paper ...
...the point where he was inextricable in the bed.
?Then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head. One of us lifted something from it, leaning forward, that faint and invisible dust dry and acrid in the nostrils, we saw a long stand of iron gray hair? (475). Miss Emily has apparently poisoned Homer for fear of him leaving her. She loved him so much, that she would have rather him lay dead in her house than to have a broken-heart. Instead of grieving as a normal person would, Miss Emily turns into a psychotic crazed lover. For many years, Emily must have lain next to him in an embrace. She wanted to preserve her love, and this further proves her unwillingness to change.
Faulkner, William. "A Rose for Emily." Literature For Composition. 6th Ed. Sylvan Barnet, Burto, Cain, Stubbs, Et. Al. New York: Longman, 2003. 621-631.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- “A Rose for Emily”, written by William Faulkner, is a southern-gothic short story that initially debuted in the magazine publication Forum, in 1930. The fictional plot opens after the death of the main protagonist, Miss Emily Grierson, the daughter of a once southern, aristocratic businessman. The southern belle fails numerous times to find companionship outside of her immediate family because her father runs off all prospective suitors. During the main character’s aged lifespan, the townsfolk notice Miss Emily’s reclusiveness increase after the loss of her father, Mr.... [tags: Symbolism, Gothic Tone]
1119 words (3.2 pages)
- Symbols and Symbolism in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie The Glass Menagerie illustrates how Tennessee Williams incorporates symbols to help express the central theme of the play. One of the recurring symbols, apparent throughout the play, is that of the "glass menagerie" - symbolic of Laura herself. Another symbol for Laura is the glass unicorn. Still another symbol is that of the picture of the father - symbolic of freedom. These symbols play an important part in the development of the plot, as well as the theme of the play.... [tags: Glass Menagerie Essays Williams]
732 words (2.1 pages)
- Symbolism and Irony in The Tell-Tale Heart In Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Tell-Tale Heart," the author combines vivid symbolism with subtle irony. Although the story runs only four pages, within those few pages many examples of symbolism and irony abound. In short, the symbolism and irony lead to an enormously improved story as compared to a story with the same plot but with these two elements missing. "The Tell-Tale Heart" consists of a monologue in which the murderer of an old man protests his insanity rather than his guilt: "You fancy me mad.... [tags: Tell-Tale Heart Essays]
2255 words (6.4 pages)
- The enigmatic man, who is William Butler Yeats, has a life full of intense emotion and feeling that causes his experiences to be quite radical to say the least. His early childhood, interest in occults, and many encounters with questionable women truly shaped his lifetime of poetry in many ways. As well his poem “Sailing to Byzantium” had many complex themes, a central theme of time, and gave interesting views on art and experience. There were people of the poetry world that analyzed William Butler Yeats’ work and saw quite an interesting use of symbolism and a strikingly unique use of fantastical imagery.... [tags: passion and spiritualism]
1562 words (4.5 pages)
- "A Rose for Emily" is a wonderful short story written by William Faulkner. It begins with at the end of Miss Emily’s life and told from an unknown person who most probably would be the voice of the town. Emily Grierson is a protagonist in this story and the life of her used as an allegory about the changes of a South town in Jefferson after the civil war, early 1900's. Beginning from the title, William Faulkner uses symbolism such as house, Miss Emily as a “monument “, her hair, Homer Barron, and even Emily’s “rose” to expresses the passing of time and the changes.... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
1032 words (2.9 pages)
- William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream There are so many references to "the eyes" in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" that one would expect there to be a solid and consistent reason for their appearance. However, this does not seem to be the case. Indeed, the images associated with the eyes are so varied, and shift so frequently, that it is practically impossible to define what it is they represent. This difficulty reflects the problem of distinguishing between what is real and what is illusion -- a central theme of the play.... [tags: Midsummer Night's Dream Shakespeare Essays]
1659 words (4.7 pages)
- Symbolism and Theme in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily In William Faulkner's short story "A Rose for Emily," a series of interconnected events collectively represent a single theme in the story. Symbolism is the integral factor involved in understanding the theme. "A Rose for Emily's" dominant theme is the search for love and security, a basic human need which can be met unfavorably in equivocal environments. Faulkner's use of symbolism profoundly develops the theme of the story, bringing to light the issues of morality that arise from a young woman's struggle to find love.... [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]
1470 words (4.2 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, William Faulkner, Sylvia Plath]
970 words (2.8 pages)
- Act 2 Scene 2 of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet ‘Act 2, scene 2 is one of the most important scenes in the play. Explain why it is so vital in showing the play’s themes, emotions, characterisation and situation. Focus particularly on how Shakespeare’s stagecraft, imagery and language help to bring out the moral and social significance of the play’ Act 2, scene 2 is a vital scene in Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ because the key themes and issues of love and hate are discussed and explored.... [tags: Papers]
609 words (1.7 pages)
- The Theme of Isolation in A Rose for Emily As an author establishes the characters he simultaneously attempts to develop the theme of the story. An author uses various elements such as point of view, the setting, and symbols to work toward the expression of one central idea. In looking at "A Rose for Emily." a short story by William Faulkner, it is evident that Faulkner successfully carries one main idea throughout the piece, the idea of being isolated from society. One of the most effective elements that Faulkner uses in his development of this main idea is the use of imagery.... [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]
1054 words (3 pages)