In the short story A Rose for Emily written by William Faulkner, readers are immersed in the narrative of a supposed town member who describes the impact that the recent death of an old woman has had upon their small community. In the narrative, readers are taken on a journey through the life of Miss Emily, an old, lonely woman who is seemingly frozen in her own timeframe. As the story unfolds, readers learn about the various tragedies Emily encountered in her lifetime such as the sudden death of her controlling father as well as her alienation from other family members that leaves her utterly alone following his death. Audiences also learn about events that happened throughout Emily’s life that both molded her as a person and aided in shaping her reputation around the town. From her controversial relationship with a construction worker named Homer Barron to her suspicious purchase of arsenic at the local drug store, there is no question that Emily lived under the constant scrutiny of her fellow townspeople. After reading the initial sentences, it can be concurred that this story doesn’t simply describe the life of an old, questionably insane woman, but also the story of the age-old battle between old and new. Through symbolism and an artful arrangement of the events described, Faulkner is able to meticulously weave a tale of the clash between newer and older generations’ views and standards.
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
“At last they could pity Emily” (453) or at least that is what the community thought they could do when Emily lost her father and became “humanized” (453). Emily is one of the most prominent people of her time and is even recognized through a story all written about her. This analytical essay of “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner without doubt, uses symbolism to portray change and decay throughout the story by using Emily’s home, Mr. Grierson, and herself.
In “A Rose for Emily” Miss Emily Grierson live a life of quiet turmoil. Her entire life has revolved around an inexplicable loneliness mostly characterized by the harsh abandonment of death. The most vital imagery utilized by Faulkner demonstrates Miss Emily’s mental condition. She, being self-improsened within the confines of her home, is the human embodiment of her house; Faulkner describes it as “... stubborn an coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps--an eyesore among eyesores.” (Faulkner 308).
“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it (William Faulkner)”. However society always tries to limit our freedom because of our gender. In Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”, the plot takes place in 1894 where women were considered to be beneath men due to stratification of society. The story takes place in an era when women did not have the right to vote, were expected to take care of husband/children, and had their civil liberties. The main character of Miss Emily is portrayed as co-dependent and mawkish, which was a social accepted attitude. Faulkner’s short story, illustrates social definitions of the female sex and the mentality of society through the actions and comments of the people of Jefferson, listening to man rather than a woman, and finally dealing with the difficulties of people saying she cannot live without a man. “People to often forget that it is your own choice how you want to spend the rest of your life(Rachel Wolchin).” Within a small town word gets around fast. Comments and remarks can be heard by anyone and will result in getting around the whole town within hours. In the short story “A Rose for Emily”, Faulkner shows how the woman and men were talking about Miss Emily whenever they saw her and Homer talking in the street. As they stand in the street they start to say “Poor Emily”, talking as if she is making the worst decision of her life. They were sure that she wouldn’t waste her time with a Northerner like Homer Barron,
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.
Faulkner used a setting and time to show Emily had a hard time accepting change and moving on with her life. They story took place right after the Civil War. Most African Americans were loathed and discriminated but Emily was relived from her father. Money showed a social statement back then and Emily’s father had money. Since her father loaned the town money she had become a well appreciated woman even after his passing. In stated in the story, “she had chosen not to come out of the house and when the townspeople had saw her they seen a different Emily.” As stated in the book
“Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town” (Faulkner 1). Emily, a member of the town’s elite class, relied upon her father when growing up and after his death, she refused to pay her taxes, stating that her father contributed much to society. But it was evident that she didn’t pay them because of a lack of maturity - financially and socially. When she was younger she pushes herself onto Homer Barron, a Northerner with no interest in marriage. Throughout the story, Emily is conflicted over societal change, and clings to her privileged manner even after finding herself in poverty. Yet, she becomes involved with a man from a lower social class, and a Northerner as well - hinting that he has different beliefs and values. The townspeople, however, believe the relationship it too modern when there is a possibility they are having physical relations despite not being serious about marriage. The community’s inability to commit to progress, contribute to the confused Emily’s decision. In A Rose for Emily, Faulkner uses the symbolism of Emily’s house and her hair to demonstrate her emotional instability and physical deterioration, illustrating the outcome of his story.
William Faulkner uses the short story “A Rose for Emily” to depict the social attitudes of the Old South after the Civil War. The main character Miss Emily Grierson epitomizes the failure of the South to adjust to the changes inflicted on it. Prior to the Civil War, Miss Emily belonged to a prominent and wealthy family of Jefferson who was part of the Aristocratic class. The story portrays how she refused to accept her new social status and was in complete denial. An illustration of her inability to face reality was when she kept Mr. Tobe working as her man-servant, even though she had lost her fortunes and could no longer afford such luxury. Another example of Miss Emily being unable to adjust to change was during the death of her father. She acted as if it had not happened and told her neighbors “that her
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 writes “A Rose for Emily”, which is a tale about the peculiar events in a small town in Mississippi. The protagonist, Emily Grierson, is an eccentric lady that encounters tragedies throughout her life. Unexpectedly, she meets Homer Barron whom she considers the love of her life. In this tragic love story, Faulkner reveals the true identities of these individuals. The main character, Emily Grierson, in the story “A Rose for Emily”, is portrayed as a dynamic character, an anti-hero in the story, and a mysterious citizen in the small town of Jefferson.
The trails and tribulations of life can cause a person to go down a road they could have never imagined. Some people are able to rise above the issues that come their way and while others become consumed by their problems. In a male dominated society, the issues of women are often pushed to the side and they are left to deal with them alone. Therefore, some women become abused by their thoughts and problems due to the fact that they do not have the ability to tackle them alone. It becomes an internal and external battle for the scorned woman to please herself, husband (or father) and the society at the same time. In the short stories, “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by
In some ways it shows that Emily, is this kind of white southern woman, but for the most part she is portrayed as weak and fragile women who family are the last aristocrats and that Homer is beneath her, socially, according to the story's narrator. It is not the behavior one would expect of someone of her social standing, and yet Emily cares little for the social conventions of the day, doing what she wants. Taking Homer in to town and cleaning him up. She spent her money on this man and did not care of what the town people had to say behind her back. I believe that her aristocrat nurture left her with a weakness to make personal connections with people. Her family was the last of their kind, aristocrat, in the town, and the life style that she was used to be shared by no one else in her life. She was isolated from reality, and when her father died the idea of being alone build in her mind. Her new suitor Homer was merely a “thing” to
He writes about Emily and the indecent relationships she maintains which annoy the townspeople. First, she has a Yankee gentleman who visits her, and then there is Homer. Out of all the men that visit Emily, Homer is the one gentleman she desires above any other man. This does not sit well with the townspeople as Homer is from a lower social class than Emily. To them, this match is indecent in many ways. In an analysis reviewing Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily, it states, “Despite the decay of the Grierson family, the older townspeople feel that being from a higher social class, Emily should fulfill her duty befitting to her family's aristocratic status” (Hsu, Wang 1). It is evident that social status is important for the southerners living in this town. Similarly, Blanche feels this way concerning Stella and Stanley’s life in New
Faulkner uses a metaphor in which he states, “When Miss Emily died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument” (Faulkner). Faulkner describes her as a fallen monument due to the fact she was the last memory the town had prior to her death. Isolation is a major theme amongst this story because Faulkner presents this theme through Emily through her stubbornness. Because Emily is interpreted as a very stubborn individual, she doesn’t allow the townspeople to enter her home thus creating her isolated and excluded from the townspeople. Emily states, “‘I have no taxes in Jefferson. Colonel Sartoris explained it to me. Perhaps one of you gain access to the city records and satisfy yourselves.’ ‘But we have. We are the city authorities, Miss Emily. Didn’t you get a notice from the sheriff, signed by him?’ ‘I have received a paper, yes,’ Miss Emily said. ‘Perhaps he considers himself the sheriff…. I have no taxes in Jefferson’” (Faulkner). Emily repeatedly denied having any taxes in Jefferson, exhibiting persistence in the midst of this argument. Another major influence of society’s isolation in the story is in regards to Homer Barron. Homer was a man that Emily had previously known, but he was derived from a different class. Both Homer and Emily are outcasts due to the fact that their lifestyles aren’t accepted as a part of their society. For example, “At first, we were glad that Miss Emily would have an interest, because the ladies all said, ‘Of course a Grierson would not think seriously of a Northerner, a day laborer’” (Faulkner). Formerly, the community felt empathy for Emily’s interest in Homer,