A Rose For Emily By William Faulkner

1138 Words5 Pages
“It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.” With these words, American author William Faulkner described the duty of an author in his Noble Prize acceptance speech. Under further examination of Faulkner’s works, one would expect to find that he followed his own job description. However, two of his most well-known short stories seem to be contradicting. Neither “A Rose for Emily” nor “Barn Burning” is uplifting because the protagonists struggle with their communities, loyalty to their fathers, and death.
In the first place, both of these stories are discouraging because the protagonists struggle with their communities. For example, Emily Grierson in “A Rose for Emily” is at odds with the people of her town because they view her as a relic of the past. Faulkner recounts how nearly the entire town of Jefferson attended Emily’s funeral, and he adds that, for the men, it was out of respect for a ‘fallen monument’ (96). This diction that Faulkner employs exemplifies the conflict between the townspeople and Emily, as they viewed her as a part of the past. Likewise, Abner and his family in “Barn Burning” are social outcasts as poor sharecroppers, and they struggle to fit in. Faulkner notes when Abner is on trial for burning another man’s barn, the judge is not able to convict him exactly but advised him saying, “Leave this

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