18 Nov. 2016
A Rose for Emily
The short story, “A Rose for Emily” was William Faulkner’s most acclaimed, most popular, and most diverse piece. You will notice that his work is deeply rooted in the story of the South, dealing with issues such as race, gender, and class. This story can be broken down to many literary elements which are all connected in their own way.
Strong-willed and firm, Emily Grierson is the main character in this short story. As a deflated character, Emily is fixed in both time and space never advancing in her views, or changing her actions with a wider society. This we are able to see with her slow acceptance of her father’s passing, and her refusal to pay her taxes. While we acknowledge a change in the narrator’s tone, Emily persists unaltered. Her demeanor was viewed to be quite peculiar, however the narrator apprises the possibility that Emily is mentally unstable. The theory was quickly made that Emily was planning on commit suicide.
The narrator holds Emily’s Father responsible for her mental state, by refusing Emily’s interaction with the opposite sex. Evidence of this can be supported in the imagery provided by the narrator, “ … her father a spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip … ” (Faulkner 821). This imagery portrays him as the type that was never the kind to display fatherly affection, which might explain Emily’s failure at communicating with those around her.
The setting in this short story is Faulkner’s imaginary post-civil war Jefferson, a cramped town in the broad south of the United States during the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. However the town is much more than just a setting; it is the most crucial reason responsible for Emily’s attitude and actions. Since her father was very highly appreciated in the old day of the Confederacy, to town scrutinized and debated her every move and had their own idea of who she was. They have put her in a certain position among others, because the times are changing and they needed someone to reinstate their southern pride.
Emily’s house is where Emily spent most of her life in isolation after the passing of her father. Visibly, it is contemplated to be “an eyesore among eyesores.” Her house is fundamentally the picture of deterioration compared to the newer buildings. The interior of the house “… smelled of dust and disuse -- a close, dank, smell” (Faulkner 819). When the house’s front room was seen by some occasional guests, it was described as “ … furnished in heavy, leather covered furniture … the leather was cracked” (Faulkner 819). There is a sort of apathy and decay within it that seems to correlate with its owner. With the fear of losing the misconception that she controls time and the house, both inwardly and outwardly, she does not want to abandon the precinct of her home.
The events of the story are veiled in mystery and conspiracy, and symbolism...