A Rose for Emily

889 Words Dec 18th, 2012 4 Pages
Literary Analysis for “A Rose for Emily”

Sometimes a Rose is Not a Rose:
A Literary Analysis of “A Rose for Emily”

In the short story “A Rose for Emily”, written by William Faulkner, the negative impact of Emily’s upbringing by an overprotective father, leads to incredible pattern in her life and the obvious mental illness that takes over as she not so graciously ages. While written in five sections, the first and last section is written in present time, and the three middle sections in past tense. To set the stage for Emily’s drastic transformation from young girl to elderly woman, Faulkner uses characterization, setting and narration to show Emily’s lost state of mind and her desire to find and keep love at all cost as.
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The setting of the story takes place in Faulkner’s make believe city of Yoknapatawpha, Mississippi. In a house that was once owned by the late Elder Grierson. When the townspeople finally enter the room upstairs that “no one had seen in forty years” (Faulkner, Section 5), they are stunned by the condition of Emily’s once grandeur house. Furthermore, the house that once set on the “most select street” (Faulkner, Section 1) was now surrounded by garages, cotton gins and was the only house left on the street. Although, once described as “a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies” (Harris), it is apparent that along with the family name, the family home had been on a downward spiral for many years.
Although the story is told in first person, the narrator of the story is never named but it appears that the story could be told by any of the townspeople. It has been said that the narrators “function is to be a window pane or mirror upon the life of Miss Emily Grierson” (Sullivan). The narrator often uses a negative attitude toward both women and the African American race, furthermore making many statements in the short story that would not be acceptable in our society today. From “the female blacks in this town are not allowed out on the streets without aprons” (Faulkner, Section 1) to “it’s probably just a snake or rat

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