“Resistance to Change”: An Analysis of Not Changing with the Times

854 Words Jun 25th, 2018 4 Pages
In his short story, A Rose for Emily, well-known American writer and Nobel Prize laureate, William Faulkner, narrates the consequences of people not changing with the times. He lived in the south when slavery was acceptable and includes this in many of his stories. Faulkner’s purpose is to emphasize to his audience that people must accept change and evolve or risk isolation and ultimately dying alone. Faulkner’s views on change are brought out effectively in “A Rose for Emily” through his use of setting, tone, and diction. This paper will explore these strategies used by Faulkner to convey to his audience the importance of being able to adapt to a dynamically changing world. It will also answer the question of whether or not Miss Emily …show more content…
Tobe!” The Negro appeared. “Show these gentlemen out” (Faulkner 178).
Ray B. West, Jr. best describes Miss Emily as refusing to acknowledge the death of Colonel Sartoris just as she refused to acknowledge the death of her own father. Her father was told by Colonel Sartoris he didn’t have to pay taxes, in Emily’s eyes this was indefinite. She lingers in the past and does not face reality of the present (149). The author’s discussion then shifts to Emily’s father’s passing and her not being able to accept his death or move on. This is reflective of “Miss Emily [who met the ladies] at the door, dressed as usual and with no trace of grief on her face. She told them that her father was not dead” (Faulkner, 179). It took the doctors and ministers three days to convince her to let them take possession of his body. Additionally, “When the town got free postal delivery, Miss Emily alone refused to let them fasten the metal numbers above her door and attach a mailbox to it” (Faulkner, 182). The author is implying that Miss Emily was the only person in the town that was against having the numbers and a mailbox affixed to her house. She was set in her ways and not able to change as the times were. Furthermore, the author creates an angry tone when the narrator states “So the next day we all said, ‘She will kill herself.’; and we

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