William Faulkner's Literary Analysis

Good Essays
William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer, born on September 25, 1897 in Oxford, Mississippi. He died on July 6, 1962, of a heart attack. Faulkner is credited with many literary works including novels, short stories and poetry. He had a tendency to focus his writings on families, time, sex, the past and the south where he was born. He created voices for children, criminals, the mentally unstable and the dead (Faulkner, 2013). In Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” he elucidates the effect of time versus tradition and looking at the world in a vividly obscured view through symbolic representations anchored to a rose and a house.
This house, like Emily Grierson, represented the wealth and tradition of the “Old South.” Built in 1870s, the exterior
…show more content…
For instance, the street and neighborhood, that at one time “been” the “most select street” has lost it’s standing in the realm of the elite and was now over taken by “garages” and “cotton gins” (Faulkner, 2013, p. 2182). “It was a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies…,” it has now deteriorated and “is left, lifting it’s stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps- an eyesore among eyesores” (Faulkner, 2013, p. 2182). In this excerpt the reader notices that the narrator’s diction is vividly extensive. For example, the word “stubborn” appears to suggest that the house, like Miss Emily, is unwilling to allow the past to remain where it belonged, in the past, but would rather hold on to it like a crutch, to somehow prevent the invasion of development, thereby forcing a change that is not ready to be accepted. “Coquettish decay” is also another striking use of diction, here the narrator uses an oxymoron to show the reader how much the ideologies of what was once elegant and beautiful is now considered inelegant, dreadful and burdensome in the face of development and change. The phrase “an eyesore among eyesores” draws the reader’s attention to the narrator’s distaste for the appearance of the house’s faded paint and unkempt…show more content…
The rose is most often thought of as a symbol for love in which case Homer is the representation the "rose" or love for Emily. Her father thought no man was good enough for her or for the Grierson family. Therefore, she was never able to experience desire or the rose of love until she met Homer. However, there is another meaning of rose to consider. In Medieval times the rose was used as a sign of silence or secrecy (Lowe, 2001, Feb 14). A rose was hung from the ceiling at a meeting of secret societies indicating a demand for discretion. The rose in the title of the story could therefore stand for Emily's secret; that is Homer her "rose" whom she cherished, loved and kept to herself even after his body was corrupted by the decay of
Get Access