Essay PreviewMore ↓
In William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," Faulkner's details about
setting and atmosphere give the reader background as to the values and
beliefs of the characters, helping the reader to understand the motivations,
actions and reactions of Miss Emily and the rest of the town, and changing
the mood or tone in the story.
The setting in "A Rose for Emily" is Faulkner's fictitious post-
civil war Jefferson, a small town in the deep south of the United States.
Faulkner's use of this particular time-period or genre, is successful in
giving the reader an understanding or background to the values and beliefs
of the characters in the story. The town of Jefferson is a fallen legacy.
The hierarchical regime of the Griersons and the class system of the time
where by ordinance of the mayor- Colonel Sartoris, a Negro women could not
even walk the street without an apron, had changed into a place where even
the street on which Miss Emily lived, that had once been the most select,
had now been encroached and obliterated, her house an eyesore among
eyesores. Both the town and Miss Emily herself, now looked upon Miss Emily
as the only remnant of that greater time. This fact gives the reader an
understanding of the mindset of the "town," who is narrating Miss Emily's
story to us in a form resembling a gossip circle, where stories of various
townspeople are pieced together and of Miss Emily, the protagonist who
lived alone except for her lone servant.
The actions of Miss Emily range from eccentric to absurd but it is
the readers understanding of the setting that keep the story believable.
Miss Emily becomes reclusive and introverted after the death of her father
and the estrangement from the Yankee- Homer Barron. It is also revealed at
the end of the story that she went as far as poisoning Homer, keeping his
dead body in his house, and sleeping next to him as well. She is doing what
she feels necessary in response to the pressure placed on her by the town.
How to Cite this Page
"Importance of Setting in A Rose for Emily." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Oct 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Importance of Setting in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Setting is place and time, and often provides more than a mere backdrop for the action of a story. William Faulkner uses this device in his complex short story "A Rose for Emily" to give insight into the lonely world of Miss Emily Grierson. Faulkner portrays the townspeople and Emily in the southern town of Jefferson during the late 1800's to early 1900's. The town is more than just the setting in the story; it takes on its own characterization alongside Emily the main character.... [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]
915 words (2.6 pages)
- The Scrambling of Time in Faulkner's A Rose for Emily In, A Rose for Emily, Faulkner uses the element of time to enhance details of the setting and vice versa. By avoiding the chronological order of events of Miss Emily's life, Faulkner first gives the reader a finished puzzle, and then allows the reader to examine this puzzle piece by piece, step by step. By doing so, he enhances the plot and presents two different perspectives of time held by the characters. The first perspective (the world of the present) views time as a "mechanical progression" in which the past is a "diminishing road." The second perspective (the world of tradition and the past) views the past as "a huge meadow which... [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]
1502 words (4.3 pages)
- In Faulkner’s, “A Rose for Emily”, Emily lives in a world of her own making. This is because townspeople in Jefferson holds Miss Emily in such high regards. To them, she symbolizes the customs of the old south, or what the town Jefferson once was. For Emily and also for the townspeople time is relative, the past is an ever-present realm in Jefferson. For this reason people wish to respect Emily and preserve her customs; even if it means intruding into her personal life, or turning the cheek towards her suspicious actions.... [tags: old south, symbolism, metaphor]
951 words (2.7 pages)
- 2011 Everybody Would Hand a Rose In his short story, “A Rose for Emily” William Faulkner gives us a picture of female identity from a male point of view, showing compassion and forgiveness for his central character. Intriguingly, the writer uses the word “rose” in the title even though a rose does not exist in any part of his story; it has highly symbolic implications. Usually, the rose symbolizes love but in this case, it expresses a sympathetic attitude of society towards Emily.... [tags: Thematic Analysis, Sympathy]
1182 words (3.4 pages)
- In the short story “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, the story starts out with the townspeople attending the funeral of Emily Grierson, who has been the town’s responsibility for generations. Emily is a black sheep of the town she refuses to pay taxes and doesn’t take part in daily life. After the death of her father and the disappearance of her fiancé, she secludes herself in the old decrypt house her father left her. Throughout the story the townspeople excuse the strange behavior of Miss Emily from the horrible smell coming from her home to holding on to her father’s dead body for three days.... [tags: Short story, Edgar Allan Poe, William Faulkner]
1858 words (5.3 pages)
- Expectations are everything, which is the ringing truth in William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily.” The short story is centered in a post-civil war setting that shows how the views and values of the southern aristocracy change over time. A single narrator acts as the voice of the fictional town of Jefferson to tell the story as a whole through flashbacks and flash-forwards that tell the life of Emily Grierson, a woman from a very rich and elevated family in their society. Through the story, we learn that Emily is never permitted by her father to marry because none of the suitors are good enough for his daughter; after her father’s death, Emily, as the last living member of her family, begins... [tags: aristocratic south, cruelty, brutality ]
1274 words (3.6 pages)
- In A Rose for Emily Faulkner explores the argument that the advantages gained by the aristocratic classes can sometimes act as an entrapment of social constraints. Faulkner uses the narrator in the story, as a catalyst for characterisation as the narrator is a member of the story but is unnamed and internally focalised although he/she is also omniscient so focalisation does not change during the story. Faulkner shows that the narrator is in the story itself by writing "we did not say she is crazy then" implying he/she himself or herself were concerned, this makes the narrator an "intradiegetic narrator" .... [tags: American Literature]
794 words (2.3 pages)
- The beast in a human is subdued by our milquetoast delusions, we are animals of compulsion and repetition. It seems to me the point of art is to explore the idea of humanity as a whole, mankind’s view of itself and the artist’s own concept of humanity. William Faulkner is one such artist who delves deeper into his own ideals, almost breaching the membrane of technicalities before exploiting them on an atomic level, too close to see everything the writer aimed for. His story A Rose for Emily, despite it’s macabre subject, persists as a tremendous exemplification of how the happenings found in the story’s subjects and in reality adhere to the essences of humanity.... [tags: nobel prize, journey, crime]
838 words (2.4 pages)
- Importance of Faulkner's Diction in A Rose for Emily What is the difference between a small child and a child that is puny. Technically, puny and small are synonyms, but the imagery that each conveys is vastly different, and therefore the meaning of each is altered. An author's choice of words can have a massive effect on the reader's interpretation. Someone who realized this and manipulated it to his full advantage was William Faulkner. One way that an author can increase a reader's enjoyment of his work is by choosing language which creates suspense and mystery.... [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]
1247 words (3.6 pages)
- Plot summary "A Rose for Emily" is a short story divided into five sections: Section one opens with a description of the Grierson home and its setting in Jefferson. The narrator mentions that over the past 25 years Miss Emily’s home has fallen into despair and become "an eyesore among eyesores." The first sentence of the story sets the tone of how the citizens of Jefferson felt about Emily: "When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to the funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old manservant–a combined gardener and cook–had seen in at least ten years.” The... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
1024 words (2.9 pages)
She is still trying to maintain the role of the southern women, dignified
and proper while struggling with all the other issues in her life and
dealing with the madness that is said to run in her family. She is also not
accepting of the changing times and flat out refuses to change with them.
Faulkner's setting also helps the reader understand the mentality
and actions of the town. The townspeople seem oddly fascinated with Miss
Emily as a relic of an older time. They have put her in a special position
among the others and while they have not maintained any direct contact with
her, they are still curious even after her death about her mystery. This
could be attributed to the fact that as the times are changing, they need
someone to restore or uphold their southern pride or majesty and as she is
a Grierson, she is their only link to that past. They even take it upon
themselves to try to correct her mistakes by calling on her cousins while
she was involved with Homer. They felt that she was setting a bad example
and because she was supposed to be of a higher class and epitomize morals
and decency in the changing south they felt that they had to do something
to restore her moral standing for her.
Besides helping the reader understand the motivations and events in
the story, the setting also changed the tone of the story. The descriptions
that Faulkner gave and the images he conjured gave the story a very gothic
feel to it. The image of the Grierson place with its out of date structure
and furnishings, and of Miss Emily herself as a fat old woman resembling
death itself also helped to create a clear picture of an old run down town.
The physical setting was parallel to the social change that was taking
place at the time and could be used to symbolize the breakdown of the old
structures that had once held their society up.
In all the cases, the essential element in Faulkner's story that
gave the reader both background and insight into the story, was the setting.
The use of a familiar genre supported the actions and motivations of the
characters in the story and elevated the tone for the reader's enjoyment.