Analysis of William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" Essay

1187 WordsJul 27, 20115 Pages
Analysis of William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” In “A Rose for Emily”, William Faulkner uses symbolism, imagery, simile and tone. Faulkner uses these elements to lead his characters to an epiphany of letting go of out-dated traditions and customs. The resistance to change and loneliness are prominent themes within “A Rose for Emily”. Faulkner uses “A Rose for Emily” to caution his readers that things are not always what they appear to be. The tone of “A Rose for Miss Emily” could be described as one of complicity and guilt. Note how often Faulkner intrudes with the pronouns "our" and "we," throughout the story, even in the first sentence: "our whole town went to the funeral." (30). Guilt and complicity can be…show more content…
Faulkner uses simile here: “She looked bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water, and of that pallid hue. Her eyes, lost in the fatty ridges of her face, looked like two small pieces of coal pressed into a lump of dough…” (30).This imagery was used to ascertain Miss Emily as a washed up relic of some long ago time. This, in turn, symbolizes the way that she still clings to and tries to live a way of life which has long been surpassed by the ever changing forward march of time and more modern ways of thinking. Just as Miss Emily’s resistance to change is symbolized by the Grierson house so is Miss Emily’s loneliness. The Grierson house is so symbolic because it had once been a hub of activity with china painting lessons and guests. After the death of Emily’s father, the house was shut off from the rest of the world, very much like Miss Emily herself. The narrator tells us that “From that time on her front door remained closed, save for a period of six or seven years, when she was about forty, during which she gave lessons in china painting.” (Faulkner 34). We can tell, and perhaps understand to some degree, that Miss Emily has a very real fear of being left alone. This is first revealed by her denial of her father’s death for several days. “She told them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days” (Faulkner
Open Document