William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" is a story that uses flashbacks to foreshadow a surprise ending. The story begins with the death of a prominent old woman, Emily, and finishes with the startling discovery that Emily as been sleeping with the corpse of her lover, whom she murdered, for the past forty years. The middle of the story is told in flashbacks by a narrator who seems to represent the collective memory of an entire town. Within these flashbacks, which jump in time from ten years past to forty years past, are hidden clues which prepare the reader for the unexpected ending, such as hints of Emily's insanity, her odd behavior concerning the deaths of loved ones, and the evidence that the
Her unwillingness to change after the civil war was one of the reasons she was so isolated. The narrator tells us twice that Miss Emily is similar to an idol, probably because she was raised to think she was above others, and others were raised to look up to her as well. She was stuck with the mindset that she was better than others, even when the community was changing she believed that she didn’t have to obey the law. She also kept to herself and no one knew anything about her. According to Faulkner, the quote “…A note on paper of an archaic shape, in a thin flowing calligraphy in faded ink…” shows me in a symbolic way, that Emily is stuck in time. The story of Emily is old and dated itself. The author uses the words archaic, calligraphy, and faded. It took me back in time while reading these words, which is exactly what Emily is.
"A Rose for Emily" is a fictional short story written by 1949 Nobel Prize winner William Faulkner. Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" is about an aristocratic woman who lived a very secretive and unusual life. Miss Emily had always been very sheltered by her father. He was the only man in her life and after his death, her behavior became even more unnatural. However her father's death cannot be seen as the only cause of Miss Emily's insanity. Miss Emily's behavior was also influenced by her own expectations of herself, the townspeople's lack of authority over her, and her neighbor's infatuation with her.
When Miss Emily finds somebody, though, it quickly pushes her to desperation. Her relationship with Homer Barron is a result of the life and death of her father. Ironically, he is a northern, roughneck Yankee, the exact opposite of any connection a Grierson would consider. Unsuspectingly, Emily is attracted to him, which is an oddity itself considering her lack of personality and his obvious charisma, for “whenever you [hear] a lot of laughing...Homer Barron [will] be in the center of the group” (560). He is also the first man to show an interest in her without her father alive to scare him off. The town is doubtful that the pair will remain together, but Emily's attachments are extreme, as seen when she would not surrender her father's body. The circumstance exhibits how her feelings are greatly intensified towards Homer. However, he is “not a marrying man” (561). When it appears as though he will leave her, she kills him with poison. While seemingly the opposite effect of love, killing Homer is quite in line with her obsession. If he is dead and she keeps Homer all to herself, Emily will never lose him; he can never leave her. Other such details that express her extreme attachments appear as she buys him clothes and toiletries before they are even considered married. There is also the revelation at the end of the story that she has been keeping his body for over thirty years and sleeping with it, clearly demonstrating her overt desperation
It is noted in the passage that “Homer himself had remarked--he liked men, and it was known that he drank with the younger men in the Elks' Club--that he was not a marrying man” (4). First her father runs away men, then when a man finally comes around he is homosexual. One day Miss Emily goes to the druggist and says “I want arsenic” (3). It is after seeing this that the people in town started to think she was going to commit suicide (4). Homer barron leaves and returns after Miss Emily’s two cousins leave. The people in the town never see him again and they say “the one we believed would marry her … had deserted her. The body of Homer Barron was found on the bed with a piece of Miss Emily’s gray hair next to the body.
In light of Homers feelings toward marriage Emily had been seen in town at the jewelers purchasing a men’s toilet set in silver with the letters H.B. on each
In “A Rose for Emily”, Charles Faulkner used a series of flashbacks and foreshadowing to tell Miss Emily’s story. Miss Emily is an interesting character, to say the least. In such a short story of her life, as told from the prospective of a townsperson, who had been nearly eighty as Miss Emily had been, in order to tell the story from their own perspective. Faulkner set up the story in Mississippi, in a world he knew of in his own lifetime. Inspired by a southern outlook that had been touched by the Civil War memory, the touch of what we would now look at as racism, gives the southern aroma of the period. It sets up Miss Emily’s southern belle status and social standing she had been born into, loner or not.
William Faulkner wrote, "A Rose for Emily." In the gothic, short story he contrasted the lives of the people of a small Southern town during the late 1800's, and he compared their ability and inability to change with the time. The old or "Antebellum South" was represented by the characters Miss Emily, Colonel Sartoris, the Board of Aldermen, and the Negro servant. The new or "Modern South" was expressed through the words of the unnamed narrator, the new Board of Aldermen, Homer Barron, and the townspeople. In the shocking story, "A Rose for Emily," Faulkner used symbolism and a unique narrative perspective to describe Miss Emily's inner struggles to accept time and change
The role of the smell incident gives suspicion as to what it is in Miss Emily’s house that is causing it. It gives suspicion that it is something like a dead body, because only such things like a dead body can have such a permeating odor able to reach outside. Miss Emily also has not paid the taxes and thinks she is still entitled to the tax waiver that Colonel Sartoris gave to her, even though he is dead.
William Faulkner’s short story, A Rose for Emily, is a dark tale of a young girl damaged by her father that ended up leaving her with abandonment issues. Placed in the south in the 1930’s, the traditional old south was beginning to go under transition. It went from being traditionally based on agriculture and slavery to gradually moving into industrial and abolition. Most families went smoothly into the transition and others, like the Griersons, did not. Keeping with southern tradition, the Griersons thought of themselves as much higher class then the rest of their community. Emily’s father found no male suitable for his daughter and kept her single into her thirties. After her fathers death Miss Emily was swept off of
William Faulkner was an American writer from Oxford, Mississippi. He wrote short stories, plays, essays, and screenplays. He is mainly known for his creative imaginary stories that were based on Lafayette County, Mississippi where he spent most of his life. Faulkner is one of the most celebrated writers in American literature and especially Southern literature. He spent majority of his childhood years sitting around listening to his elders and family members telling stories that included war stories of the Civil war and slavery. “A Rose for Emily was his first story that was published in a major magazine called the Forum.” When the short story was first published, it didn’t do that well in the
Being a member of an antebellum southern aristocracy meant that she was in a family that was defined as a “planter” also known as a person owning property and twenty or more slaves. After the Civil War, the family went through another hardship. The woman and her father kept on living their lives as if they were still in the past. Her father refused to let her get married. When the woman was thirty years old, her father died. This took her by surprise. After her dad passed, the woman refused to give up his body. The town thought it was just part of her grieving process. After she finally accepted her dad’s death, she grew closer to Mr. Homer. This took the town by surprise. Homer explained to Emily that he wasn’t the marrying type. She did not like hearing those words. Emily went to town and bought arsenic from a drug dealer. Because of this, the towns people were certain she was trying to kill herself. Emily’s distant cousins came to visit because the priest’s wife had called them. Homer left for a couple of days, but then came back after the cousins had left. Emily wouldn’t talk to any of the towns people. They wouldn’t confront her given her reputation. They wanted to ask her about the awful smell that had been coming from her house and to talk to her about her taxes. At first, they said her taxes were over looked in debt to her father, but then they changed their minds and sent her notices. The woman refused to pay them! Years later Emily had
There are many instances where Emily resists change, unable to let go of the Southern, antebellum lifestyle she grew up with. This creates a contrast between Emily and the rest of the town, which is progressing and modernizing as time goes by. Emily’s traditional nature puts an emphasis on her representation of the past. She actively resists modernization, choosing to reply to the mayor’s offer to call with a letter “on paper of an archaic shape, [written with] thin, flowing calligraphy in faded ink” (Faulkner 1). Emily’s actions represent the past and an inability to let go of it. She is stuck in the past, unwilling to accept the change that the future brings. Emily and her house are the last glimpses of the past in her town; as the town progresses, her house stood unmoving, “lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons” (Faulkner 1). The house continues to display the style of the past, despite the decay and progression of style. Emily and her house represent the past, when her house was new and in style. Emily’s resistance to change and longing for the past is appropriate, considering her age and upbringing. She is an older woman, who grew up during the Civil War era in the South. The reason the South fought in the Civil War was to protect their lifestyle at all costs. The South was unwilling to change, stubbornly clinging to the antebellum way of life. This philosophy shaped the
After living so long as a victim of loneliness perpetrated by her father, Emily decides that she will be vindicated-she will have her man. She orders a toiletry set to be engraved with Homer's initials, purchases an outfit and a nightshirt for him, and buys the arsenic that is to seal his fate. When the townspeople enter her house for the first time in forty years, they find a bridal tomb: a tarnished toiletry set, a neatly pressed suit, and a rotting Homer Baron clad in the nightshirt wearing a "profound and fleshless grin" (87).
The story "A Rose for Emily" is one of first William Faulkner’s publications. The action of this story takes place in a time filled with social and political turmoil, when Southern came into a historical lethargy, and when its glow start faded. The elements presented in "A Rose for Emily" make reference to that time and are a tribute to Mss. Emily Graiser. A dominant tone is shown by a footprint of the past and loneliness to which was added symbolism and melancholia. The author showed us through his words issue of life, love and death, a sensitivity which gets us closer of characters' life and struggles.