The Southern Myth Of William Faulkner 's A Rose For Emily Essay

The Southern Myth Of William Faulkner 's A Rose For Emily Essay

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The Southern Myth of William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”

The story “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner is primarily about gossip in a small town such as the author’s hometown himself. It is based on a woman who is buried alive in a house that has literally become a tomb; she is buried alive in the concept of southern lady hood, and to this the auxiliary concept of manhood is relevant. Faulkner shifts from third person to first person at a point in the short story and uses the pronoun “we” to indicate the agreement of the small town. Faulkner brings his own experience into all of his pieces of writing and it is especially shown in “A Rose for Emily.” Faulkner expresses the southern myth throughout his writing of this short story and shows this in the setting, character, and the strong hold that Emily’s father has on her.

William Cuthbert Falkner was born on September 25, 1897 in the small town of New Albany, Mississippi. Early in Faulkner’s childhood, he moved to Oxford, Mississippi with his three brothers and parents. Oxford was a quiet, poor town, much like the towns in his writing (Hathcock 3). Although from a very small area, Faulkner makes extreme accomplishments before his mid-twenties. Faulkner brings out his southern raising and uses this to help readers visualize the setting of his novels. He decides to change his original last name “Falkner” to now “Faulkner,” and this factor kept him slightly apart from his family (Williamson 5-6). Faulkner began his writing career with great novels based upon Southern tales. In 1927, Faulkner began writing about the southern poor-men and women who had virtually nothing but their pride. He wrote many classics known today and in between his writing he worked in Hollywood on movie...


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The southern myth in “A Rose for Emily” is present throughout the entire story. It is primarily based off of Faulkner’s hometown and will be remembered as a true southern tale. The tragedy at the end of the story leaves readers wanting to know more. Although Jefferson was such a small town, and the audience associates small towns with knowing all that goes on, this is the irony of it all. Miss Emily was the middle of attention for the townspeople, yet they had no idea what was going on right inside of her own home in their town. Faulkner expresses the southern myth throughout his writing of this short story and shows this in the setting, character, and the strong hold that Emily’s father has on her which becomes the moral of the story where repression can have unintended consequences and trying to control someone’s life can only result in a bad outcome.

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