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A Review Of William Faulkner's "A Rose For Emily"

1763 words - 8 pages

William Faulkner (1897-1962), who came from an old southern family, grew up in Oxford, has the incredible ability to show us the very depths of a human soul, psyche, thoughts which make up mankind. Every character seems to be a comment on some aspects of the society. (Clasius, 21) Most of the time he works on the themes of; human drama, the decay of the old South, racial prejudice by using some techniques like, "the distortion of time through the use of the inner monologue" (Clausius, 56). In his short story called A Rose for Emily, his style can be designated.William Faulkner in A Rose for Emily, tells a story of a woman who is violated by her father's strict mentality. Her story takes ...view middle of the document...

No man was good enough for Emily. Emily's solitude was especially evident after her father died and when her boyfriend Homer disappeared. Her hair had turned an "irony gray" (Faulkner, 439) after her father died. She had a black manservant, Tobe, who is a faithful servant, throughout her whole life that went to the market, cooked and gardened for her. During the end of her life the manservant's visits were the only way that the townspeople knew that she was still alive. After her father died Emily kept his body in her house. A few days after Emily's father's death a couple of ladies came to give their condolences. But Emily came to the door dressed in casual clothes and showed no signs of grief. (Faulkner, 338) The townspeople were about to resort to law enforcement when she finally broke down and told them that her father was dead. They thought Emily did this because they remembered how the father drove all the young men away. Now she was a figure that could be pitied by the town, alone and penniless.Eventually Emily meets Homer, a Yankee who came into town "to pave sidewalks" (Faulkner, 441) during the summer of Emily's father's death. They started seeing each other but Homer would rather hang out with the guys than hang out with Emily. He was not the marrying type. When Emily figured this out she bought some arsenic from a druggist. The townspeople thought she was going to use the arsenic to kill herself. However the next week they were sure homer and Emily would get married because Emily had been seen at the jeweler's ordering a man's toilet set in silver, with the letters H.B. on each piece. Two days later she was seen buying a complete outfit of men's clothing, including a nightshirt. Homer was not seen for a week or so but he eventually came back into town and a neighbor saw the manservant let him in at the kitchen door. That was the last time anyone would ever seeHomer until forty years later. After Emily's death the townspeople broke down a door to a room in Emily's house and there lay Homer's skeleton in a double bed. In the room was the man's toilet set, a collar and a tie. Upon a chair were carefully folded suit and a pair of shoes and socks. Along side Homer's decayed body they found a pillow with an "indentation of ahead". (Faulkner, 444) On the pillow was a long strand of iron-gray hair. From this piece of evidence, it suggests that Emily poisoned Homer and slept next to him every night for forty years after his death.Emily was a headstrong woman that seemed fragile and weak, but was instead very strong. She had the whole town convinced that she could not hurt a fly, but instead she was capable of the worst of crimes, murder. " Faulkner's works convey a deep sense of oppression and withdrawal, yet they convey too the struggle with self and society. In the midst of defeat and despair a small center of resistance resides"(Backman, 186) Moreover, Minrose Gwin, author of The Feminine and Faulkner, states that several of Faulkner's...

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