William Faulkner 's A Rose For Emily Essay

William Faulkner 's A Rose For Emily Essay

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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. Faulkner uses symbols of overprotection, emotional distress, and death through out the story to better describe the tragic life of Emily in the decline of the Old South.

Miss Emily was a young girl when the thought of her being held so high was ingrained to her being. Her father was extremely overprotective of her and kept her very sheltered from the world, he would scare away any young man that would try to woe her. As Faulkner wrote, the way the town saw Emily and her father being a tableau, “none of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily and such. We had long thought of them as a tableau, Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background, her father a spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip, the two of them framed by the back-flung front door” (Faulkner). In this quote Emily’s father is showing how overprotective he is of his daughter; Faulkner even created the imagery of the father clutching the horsewhip in his hand and standing in front of the door allowing no one in and not letting virgin Emily, dressed in white, out. The horsewhip can symbolize the stern may...


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...e door being torn down was a clear way of demonstrating the final threshold to cross into a new era of the ascending South.

To summarize, Emily’s long tragic life of her father’s overprotection leading to emotional distress and lastly death; precedes to a parallel downfall of the Old South and the the rise of the New South. So many generations got to see and grow to distantly know Emily, “Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town, dating from that day in 1894” (Faulkner). This states that Emily was a privileged citizen since 1894, and how since that time it was the towns duty to keep an eye out for Emily, making her the talk of the town. Then to find out what really laid beyond the world of Emily Grierson, which was a tragedy to a such a high held and somewhat respected figure throughout the generations.

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