Essay on Connecting Symbols in A Rose for Emily

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The literary world contains a vast collection of works, each employing diverse techniques in writing. One technique commonly found in literature is the use of images and symbols. Symbols are sometimes complex and contain both literal and figurative significance. Symbolism in literature is commonly used to bind the attributes of an object with various segments of a story to provide the reader with a deeper understanding and sometimes hidden meaning. In the short story, “A Rose for Emily” William Faulkner utilizes a vast collection of symbols, as a means to enhance the reader’s visual perceptions but also prompts consideration into theories of motive surrounding the murder of Homer Barron.
Modeled after the post-civil war era of the
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In “‘A Rose for Emily’: Against Interpretation” John L. Skinner takes into consideration the analysis of literary critic William Going, who suggests that Emily herself represents the rose as the “treasured memory of the old Confederate veterans” (Skinner, p. 42). While interpretations may vary, what is clear is the symbolic blossom continues to puzzle many analytical minds.
Prompted by its ambiguity, when William Faulkner was asked to explain the symbolic nature of the rose, he responded by stating that it was “Just a ‘Rose for Emily’ – That’s all” (Towner & Carothers, p. 67). This implies that the rose is merely a gesture of kindness to a pitiable character and nothing more. For those not comfortable with Faulkner’s response, perhaps the only other clue lies in the final page where a secret room reveals “faded rose colored” curtains and “rose shaded lights” (Faulkner, p.674). It may be that Faulkner used the rose to tie the beginning of the story with its end. While the rose in the title may or may not be symbolic, what it actually represents appears to be left open to interpretation.
The House
The house is another symbol used in the story which seems to carry an associative relationship with Emily Grierson. In the opening paragraph, Emily is referred to as a “fallen monument” (Faulkner, p.668). Once young and full of promise, Emily’s appearance in later years are described as “bloated, like a…

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