Rose for Emily

1559 WordsDec 11, 20057 Pages
Escaping Loneliness In "A Rose for Emily," William Faulkner's use of setting and characterization foreshadows and builds up to the climax of the story. His use of metaphors prepares the reader for the bittersweet ending. A theme of respectability and the loss of, is threaded throughout the story. Appropriately, the story begins with death, flashes back to the past and hints towards the demise of a woman and the traditions of the past she personifies. Faulkner has carefully crafted a multi-layered masterpiece, and he uses setting, characterization, and theme to move it along. Miss Emily's house as the setting of the story is a perfect metaphor for the events occurring during…show more content…
Knowing a prideful southern belle would not accept charity, Colonel Sartoris concocted "an involved tale to the effect that Miss Emily's father had loaned money to the town, which the town, as a matter of business, preferred this way of repaying" (622). However, their agreement took place during the time when a persons word was as good as gold. When the younger generation took over with their modern ideas, and there was no written agreement or proof as to her and Colonel Sartoris' arrangement, they tried unsuccessfully to make her pay her taxes. Another example of the younger generations lack of respect is when Miss Emily's house began to smell. The younger alderman had no qualms with sending her word to have her place cleaned up but Judge Stevens, who was "eighty years old" (623), held to the traditional southern elegance by saying "will you tell a lady to her face of smelling bad?" (623) So instead of harassing and defacing Miss Emily they took the courtesy to rid her house of the fouls odors themselves. Even though the townspeople "believed that the Griersons held themselves a little too high for what they really were" they still treated Miss Emily with the kind of respect reserved for a person of royalty. When she went to the drugstore to purchase poison she considered herself above the law as "she demanded more than ever the recognition of her dignity" (625) and used her social statue to buy poison without declaring her purpose. When the druggist asked Miss
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